If it's up to B.C., the borders won't be opening any time soon. On Monday, May 11, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Chief Medical Officer of Health in B.C., and Minister Adrian Dix said that the Canada-U.S. border needs to remain closed for all non-essential purposes. However, Dr. Henry added that she would be open to considering some exceptions.
A member of the media called into the province's daily press briefing on COVID-19 and inquired about whether the health officials have any concerns about the reopening of the border.
The press member said that the U.S. border is set to potentially reopen on May 21.
Dr. Bonnie Henry said that there are in fact concerns among officials.
However, she said that B.C. has some leeway and that the province should look at the family certifications. Meaning that they may allow people to reunite with family members, even if it means crossing the border.
"I know it's been very hard on some families who have members on either side of the border," she said.
But she maintained that there shouldn't a broad reopening of the borders and that it's not in the province's best interest in the coming weeks.
There are essential goods travelling back and forth, and Dr. Henry said that she wants to keep that going as we're all dependent on that.
"But we need to have the measures in place to protect our communities here," she added.
Adrian Dix, the Health Minister of B.C., also weighed in on the matter.
"With respect to the United States right now, it would make no sense to have visitors travelling either from Canada to the United States, or to have visitors, not essential traffic, coming from the United States to Canada," he said.
Dix also said that Premier John Horgan has repeatedly made this point to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
He then took the time to tell the public that Canadian travellers coming back into the province are under mandatory self-isolation orders.
"There's always talk about what would happen with opening the border and its effect on certain industries," he said.
But that is not likely to change, given the situation in other jurisdictions.
He added that provincial borders being open within Canada itself is okay because the authorities are working collaboratively with the federal government.
Dix said that he will be making that viewpoint very clear to the Federal Health Minister of Canada.
B.C. isn't the first province to speak out against opening the borders for non-essential traffic.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has repeatedly maintained his position that the Canada-U.S. border remains shut for the time being.