Green Party says US citizens should be included in new border restrictions

HALIFAX – The Green Party of Canada applauds new measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 announced today by the federal government but says it is a mistake to exempt US citizens from this ban on non-residents entering Canada.

“We understand the complexities involved in the deep integration of our two countries, their trade and economies,” said Interim Green Party Leader Jo-Ann Roberts. “However, given the escalating outbreaks of COVID-19 in the United States, particularly in states that share a border with Canada, such as New York and Washington, we urge the federal government to immediately restrict entry to Americans travelling to Canada solely for tourism. The Liberals’ assurances that U.S. tourists will be required to self-isolate is not a satisfactory guarantee in light of such a dangerous threat.”

“We have witnessed the extraordinary spread of COVID-19 in Europe, as well as the weak and delayed effort by the Trump administration to curb its spread throughout the U.S,” said Green Party parliamentary leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). “The situation in America is likely to be far worse than here, and the sooner we protect ourselves the better. We need to be able to focus on Canadians coming home and self isolating, not worrying about whether American tourists are doing so as well. British Columbia and Ontario have seen the most rapid spread of the virus to date in Canada, despite all the measures put in place. We must act now.”

Paul Manly (MP, Nanaimo-Ladysmith) pointed out that Canadian health officials and border service personnel are already under immense pressure to protect the safety of Canadians. “We all appreciate the tremendous work these officials are doing to protect us all,” said Mr. Manly. “Restricting American tourists from entering Canada at this time would bring some relief to their already burdened workload, and allow them to focus on returning Canadians. It just makes sense.”