U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling for a “transparent, bilateral, and public plan” for reopening the border, to be released as soon as possible, putting pressure on the Canadian government to cooperate with the Biden administration.
In a letter addressed to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Schumer calls for a plan “based on public health data and guidance, with specific standards, protocols, and metrics.”
In essence, Schumer is looking for the Canadian government to get in gear with a concrete border plan, adding that “A bi-national plan with clearly defined benchmarks will provide clarity and transparency to a confusing and frustrating process.”
According to CTV news, Schumer is calling on both sides to broaden the definition of essential travellers to include:
- vaccinated people who have property
- citing concerns over the federal government’s promise of a new annual tax that would apply to vacant or underused property in Canada that’s owned by foreign investors.
- educational, medical or business reasons for crossing the border
- clarity for boaters, including tour boat companies that cross the border without docking
Members of Canada’s Conservative Party also have raised concerns about why rapid tests have not been implemented as solutions to ease border restrictions.