Windsor·Audio

Sarnia, Port Huron mayors frustrated over lack of co-ordination on border restrictions

Mayors on both sides of the Blue Water Bridge border crossing are expressing frustration that the U.S. government isn't following suit with Canada on loosening border restrictions.

Land border has been closed since March 2020 except for trade and essential travel

The Blue Water Bridge crossing between Ontario and Michigan is one of the busiest border crossings in Canada. (Rebecca Cook/Reuters)

While the Canadian and U.S. governments aren't in lockstep on the reopening of the border, the mayors of two border towns are in agreement.

Municipal leaders on opposite sides of the Blue Water Bridge border crossing — one of Canada's busiest — are expressing frustration that the U.S. government isn't following suit with Canada on loosening restrictions for vaccinated travellers.

The development was a surprise for Sarnia, Ont., Mayor Mike Bradley, given the previous co-ordination between the countries and the leaders' pledge earlier this year to work together on the border.

Pauline Repp, the mayor of Port Huron, Mich., said she is "equally as frustrated" about the situation.

"I don't understand it myself. So, I wish they would ... be co-operating with the Canadian officials and doing it at the same time."

LISTEN: Mayors of Sarnia and Port Huron join Windsor Morning 
Sarnia mayor Mike Bradley and the mayor of Port-Huron, Michigan, Pauline Repp, speak with CBC Windsor Morning host Tony Doucette about the border reopening. 8:28

She said it's been difficult for those who have family and property on the other side of the border, and she noted that the closure has affected the local economy due to the loss of Canadian shoppers.

The land border has been closed since March 2020 except for trade and essential travel.

The federal government said Monday that as of as of Aug. 9., U.S. citizens and permanent residents will be able to enter Canada for non-essential purposes if they're fully vaccinated.

The U.S. government, however, recently extended the closure of its border with Canada until Aug. 21 at least.

The White House press secretary said on Monday that the U.S. government is continuing to review travel restrictions and any changes would be guided by expert opinion.

"We take this incredibly seriously, but we look and are guided by our own medical experts. I wouldn't look at it through a reciprocal intention," Jen Psaki said.

With files from Windsor Morning and Catharine Tunney

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?

now