Wednesday morning saw the Aldergrove-Lynden border crossing, on Canada’s side, with more than a kilometre of commercial trucks seeking Washington State entry. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

VIDEO: Long line of trucks at B.C. crossing after Canada’s borders close to ‘non-essential’ travel

Vehicle traffic was sparse for those attempting to gain entry into Canada from Lynden, Wa.

It started early on Wednesday.

A kilometre of commercial truck drivers in Canada lined up for hours at the Aldergrove-Lynden border, ready to transport their goods.

By 10 a.m. the lineup to get into Washington State extended north past the Aldergrove Duty Free Shop and Highway 13’s 264th Street connector, 3B Avenue.

And yet the Lynden crossing into B.C. was sparsely populated, only a few trucks passed through the port within the next hour.

[story continues below video]

The lineup seeking entry into the U.S. came just after the federal government announced closure of the U.S.-Canada border, in both directions, to non-essential traffic on Wednesday morning in an effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The closure will take effect within “hours or days,” said Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who noted that some $2.7 billion worth of goods traverse the border each day.

“We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic,” Trump tweeted Wednesday.

“Trade will not be affected.”

Essential travel will be allowed to continue in order to preserve critical supply chains, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, which means shipping trucks will continue to cross the border to deliver food, fuel and medicine.

Workers like health-care professionals who live and work on opposite sides will also be permitted to cross.

Trudeau said during a morning news conference outside his home that he spoke with Trump earlier in the day, and likened the measure to the instructions from public-health officials that people avoid visiting their neighbours – unless doing so is essential.

“Travellers will no longer be permitted to cross the border for recreation and tourism,” Trudeau elaborated.

READ MORE: Canada-U.S. border closing to non-essential travel

Government officials say exemptions will remain in place to ensure Canadians who are now in the United States are able to return home.

This was seen clearly as passenger vehicles were seen granted to cross over at both the Aldergrove and Lynden entry ports.

“In both our countries, we’re encouraging people to stay home; we’re telling our citizens not to visit their neighbours unless they absolutely have to. This collaborative and reciprocal measure is an extension of that prudent approach,” said Trudeau.

The last time the U.S.-Canada border closed was following Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

– with files from the Canadian Press

Coronavirus

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

 

Just Posted

Williams Lake and District 4-H live auction takes place Monday, Aug. 10

District 4-H vice-president said he’s hopeful the community will show its support

Williams Lake RCMP investigating break and enter in Miocene

A large amount of items were stolen from a family home

Wheels in motion for mountain biking trail project near Clinton

Project to provide immediate employment while resulting in new trail on Jesmond Mountain

Williams Lake RCMP investigating break-in, crash, stolen vehicle

A single vehicle crash that knocked out hydro overnight being investigated as impaired driving

Forest Ink: Private land improvement ideas shared

Columnist Jim Hilton visits a Rose Lake property to see forest work being done by the owner

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Salmon arrive in larger numbers at Big Bar landslide

Arrival follows historic high-water levels that halted migration runs

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

Most Read