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

City overcharged South Lakeside residents on water and sewer tax, says Judy Albin

City staff are seeking direction from city council on how to proceed at Tuesday meeting

Witnesses sought in Quesnel River Bridge hit and run

The damage to the bridge is estimated to be over $30,000

Police probe reports that fire alarm didn’t sound during fatal Prince George motel blaze

A suspect was also arrested, but later released pending further investigation

Two arrested after shots fired complaint Monday night at Tyee Lake

Saunderson said RCMP immediately responded and located the suspect vehicle leaving the area

Quesnel RCMP, Search and Rescue respond to paddlers capsized in Quesnel River

A kayaker and canoer ended up in the fast flowing water just after launching

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Most Read