Canadian business leaders demand plan to reopen borders, economy now

OTTAWA – Business leaders are calling on Ottawa to immediately develop a comprehensive plan to reopen the economy and international borders, as well as a vaccine certification process.

At a press conference today, a Canadian roundtable on travel and tourism said the federal government must heed the advice of its expert advisory group last month and allow fully vaccinated foreigners to enter the country.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said yesterday he spoke with US President Joe Biden at the G7 summit on easing border restrictions, but gave no indication of a timeline or others details had been fixed.

Perrin Beatty, chief executive of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said Canada was an “outlier” of the G7 by failing to provide a full reopening plan including vaccination rates and other criteria.

The tourism and airline industries have lost billions over the past 15 months amid ongoing travel advisories and border closures due to the pandemic.

The government took a cautious first step last week by announcing that Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have received two doses of the vaccine and test negative for COVID-19 will likely be exempt from self-isolation week, including hotel quarantines, starting early next month.

The closure of the Canada-US border, in place since March 20 and renewed every month, is currently due to expire next Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on June 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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