In this photo taken May 17, 2020, people walk back and forth across the border between the U.S. and Canada in Peace Arch Park in Blaine, Wash. With the border closed to nonessential travel amid the global pandemic, families and couples across the continent have found themselves cut off from loved ones on the other side. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that the federal government is mulling over the idea of allowing U.S. border-closure exceptions for families split between the neighbouring countries.

Due to COVID-19, border restrictions on travel between the U.S. and Canada have been in effect since mid-March.

During his news conference outside Rideau Cottage on Friday (May 29), Trudeau told reporters that his government has received reports about families separated by the ongoing border closing to all but essential travel, specifically those with partners or children stuck in the U.S. because of work.

“We have taken unprecedented measures at U.S. border to prevent non-essential travel.. but there has been a numbers of stories in the media of families who have been separated because of dual citizenship,” Trudeau said.

In recent weeks, the prime minister has said the current prohibitions at the border must be in place to keep Canadians safe.

The issue of separated families, however, was brought up on his call with premiers during their weekly Thursday meeting.

“We have been looking at ways of perhaps allowing close family members, children, spouses, or parents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to be able to reunite under strict conditions through a slight modification of the directives for the Canadian Border Services Agency,” Trudeau said.

B.C.’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said she’d consider allowing such a reunification to be allowed between immediate family members.

“There are a number of premiers who feel that for reasons of compassion, we should and could move forward with this measure. There are others who expressed a certain amount of concern about it,” he said.

“We will continue to engage with them, we will continue to look into this matter, and ensure that no matter what we do, we are keeping the well-being of Canadians at the forefront of any decision,” Trudeau said.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A “once in a decade comet” now visible in night sky

Comet F3 (NEOWISE) well placed below the Big Dipper to see and photograph over the next few of weeks

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

District of Barriere Utilities Manager reports to council on Barriere wells

District of Barriere Utilities Manager Ian Crosson presented a verbal report during… Continue reading

How Blue River’s Community Garden bloomed into existence

For about six years now the Blue River Community Garden has seen… Continue reading

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read