Canada wants to extend U.S. travel ban; PM not yet ready to consider future plan

Publish Time:2020-05-21 09:46:15Source:The Canadian Press

【Introduction】:Canada is not yet prepared to confront the challenges inherent in reopening the shared border with the United States, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday, stopping short of confirming that a ban on non-essential travel will be extended to June 21.

Canada is not yet prepared to confront the challenges inherent in reopening the shared border with the United States, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday, stopping short of confirming that a ban on non-essential travel will be extended to June 21.

The federal government has asked to extend the current ban, which is currently set to expire May 21, and a favourable response is expected from Washington — but likely won’t come for a few more days, a source familiar with the ongoing discussions, but not authorized to talk about them publicly, told The Canadian Press. News of the request was first reported by the Globe and Mail. “Right now, we’re making decisions for right now,” Trudeau said when asked about the possibility of keeping the border closed even after June 21, regardless of the wishes of the U.S., which is dealing with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the world.

“Obviously, there are reflections on what next steps could be and might be in different situations and different progressions of COVID-19, but every step of the way in this unprecedented situation, we’re reacting to and responding to the realities we see now, and that’s where we will stay focused.”

One of those realities is also the starkest: more than a million active cases in the U.S. — 42 per cent of the world’s active caseload — and a death toll that was closing in Wednesday on 83,000 people, growing at a rate of more than 1,000 fatalities a day.

Another is the level of unbridled political urgency, much of it emanating from the White House and Republican-led state capitols, to reopen shuttered businesses and ease restrictions on personal mobility, often in defiance of the Trump administration’s own guidelines.

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