Canada-U.S. Relations

Politics • American • Canada
United States border to Canada and Mexico will stay closed over Covid-19 outbreak
United States border to Canada and Mexico will stay closed over Covid-19 outbreak
Credit: unsplash.com / Wojtek Witkowski

According to a Twitter announcement by acting United States Homeland Security Department Secretary Chad Wolf the borders to Canada and Mexico will stay closed for until the 21 of September.

He wrote that "we continue to work with our Canadian and Mexican partners to slow the spread of #COVID19. Accordingly, we have agreed to extend the limitation of non-essential travel at our shared land ports of entry through September 21". The ban does not include air travel as well as trade.

Politics • American
Canadian court rules that United States aren't a "Safe Third Country" anymore
A border marker at the US-Canada border at the Northwest Angle of Minnesota / Manitoba
A border marker at the US-Canada border at the Northwest Angle of Minnesota / Manitoba Credit: Tony Webster (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) has been ruled invalid by a federal court in Canada. Under the agreement asylum seekers trying to cross the Canada-U.S. border are sent back to the respective country to apply in the first country they have arrived in for asylum.

Canadian federal court judge Ann Marie McDonald has now ruled that the United States do not qualify as "safe" anymore but has suspended her ruling for six months to give the legislative branch of the government time to respond. In her ruling, she points out that the agreement violates parts of Canada’s Charter of Rights which state that principles of fundamental justice need to be conformed to regarding laws and state actions that influence life, liberty and security.

Politics • American
Members of Congress write open letter to Canada calling for re-opening of border
Members of Congress write open letter to Canada calling for re-opening of border
Credit: Twitter via Brian Higgins

The Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair has been addressed by 29 bipartisan members of the United States Congress in a call to plan the re-opening of the US-Canadian border.

In the letter, the members of Congress ask "that the United States and Canada immediately craft a comprehensive framework for phased reopening of the border based on objective metrics and accounting for the varied circumstances across border regions" stating that they "understand the importance of prioritizing the safety of our communities as we all navigate the complex calculation of minimizing public health risks and resuming economic activity. However, the social and economic partnership between our two nations necessitates a clear pathway forward".

Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has responded with a statement that the "absolute priority" is the health and safety of Canadians adding that "Decisions about Canada's border are made by Canadians, for Canadians".

The current closure and measures are set to expire on July 21st.