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Canada wants U.S. border closed, says minister to concerns of Point Roberts second homes

Last Updated Sep 25, 2020 at 2:50 pm PDT

FILE - Point Roberts is seen here from the NEWS 1130 Air Patrol in the summer of 2019. (Riley Phillips, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson says Canadians want the border to stay closed

Even though some Canadians don't have access to their homes in Point Roberts, he says it's about doing what's best

The minister says any exceptions to the border closure would require careful consideration

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Canadians have made it clear they want to keep the border closed as long as necessary to keep everyone safe during the pandemic, even if that means access to Point Roberts remains heavily restricted, says the federal minister of environment and climate change.

Jonathan Wilkinson, also the Liberal MP for North Vancouver, says he has been approached by some constituents in the city worried about not being able to access second homes in the border town where many retired Canadians also live.


“Canadians want us to be very prudent in terms of further exceptions at the border. If you look at public opinion research, it is a very large proportion of Canadians who do not, at this stage, want to see the border re-open. Eventually, of course, we all know that will have to happen, but not at the present time.”

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The land border closure has separated Canada and the U.S. to all but essential travel since March, and it was recently extended to at least Oct. 21. 

Canadians currently living in Point Roberts have said the community, with a population of about 1,000 people, is looking more and more like a ghost town the longer the pandemic lasts because many shops and restaurants have been forced to close.


But the minister says any exceptions to the border closure would require careful consideration.

“Clearly, we would have to be convinced this could be done in a manner that was controllable and safe,” Wilkinson says. “That would be the conversation that would be going on with Minister Blair and the border security folks. At this stage, though, I would say the operative principle for us is prudence and vigilance.”