The temporary border shutdown between the United States and Canada that was scheduled to end in March 2020 has been extended. While Canada partly removed restrictions for vaccinated Americans in August, non-essential Canadian tourists have been unable to access bridges in locations like Buffalo and Niagara Falls for almost 19 months.
"All of the science points to the same conclusion," U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins said. "Open the U.S. border to our Canadian friends and citizens."
His calculations indicate that as a result of the extended border closure, the United States loses $439 million each month. Korey Schuler, executive director of the Niagara USA Chamber of Commerce, said that if the government decides to prolong the limitations beyond the present deadline of Oct. 21, it owes the public a reason for doing so.
"If you look around, there's a lot less of them so the pie is being split up with less people, so you're seeing an artificial impact of more business because we have lost several businesses, so the continuation of lack of business because the border's closed doesn't help. Just imagine if that border is open," small busines owner Russ Petrozzi said.
"If they fail to reopen the border, then we're asking for an explanation of what criteria were used for the continued closure. As we see the influx of people crossing our southern border, it makes no sense that we stand here today looking to the north and seeing a continued shutdown," Schuler said.
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