Since the closure of the Canada-U.S. border back in March, the two countries’ leaders have been at odds with one another.
Earlier this month, Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump announced that travel restrictions between the U.S. and Canada would remain in place until at least November 21.
What will happen after that remains unclear, as the two leaders have shared multiple conflicting statements.
While the American president has implied that the border should be reopened as soon as possible, Canada’s prime minister has suggested that it will remain closed for the foreseeable future.
With the reopening date drawing ever-closer, and the U.S. presidential election just days away, here’s a look at the two leaders’ positions so far.
What does Trump say?
It was Donald Trump who originally announced the border closure back in March.
While the two leaders were expected to make a joint announcement on the matter, he decided to break the news himself via Twitter.
On multiple occasions, the president has indicated his desire to restart travel between the two countries.
Speaking in April, Trump told reporters that it would be “one of the early borders to be released,” noting that both countries were “doing well” during the pandemic.
In September, he claimed again that he was “looking at the border with Canada."
"Canada would like it open, and you know we want to get back to normal business," he said, noting that it would open "pretty soon."
What does Trudeau say?
In comparison, Canada’s politicians have suggested that they're in no rush to restart international travel.
In response to Trump in April, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland made it clear that the U.S. president wouldn’t decide whether the border gets reopened.
"What I can guarantee is ... decisions about Canada's border are taken by Canadians. Full stop," she told reporters.
Trudeau doubled-down on this take on October 14, saying that the borders would not reopen for tourism and recreation until the COVID-19 situation in America had improved.
“[...] the United States is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders,” he explained.
Days later, he added, “Right now, the situation, the United States continues to be of concern. So we’re going to make sure we’re keeping Canadians safe as best as we can.”
What will happen next?
The current border restrictions are set to end on November 21, but it’s possible that they will be extended once again.
While the decision as to what happens next will likely be made by both leaders together, Trudeau has made it clear that he won’t back down when it comes to Canadians' safety.
Mark Critch, on a recent episode of This Hour Has 22 Minutes, asked Trudeau, “You say the border is staying closed but President Trump says you’re close to opening it. Is that true, or is it ‘fake news?’”
In response, the PM said, “Decisions on what Canadians do with the border will be made here in Canada.
“We will continue to put the protection of Canadians first and foremost."
*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.