Local travel restrictions may be loosening, but tension is still in the air. Americans in Muskoka Lakes have been getting nasty threats from residents, according to the mayor. He’s now warning outsiders about the not-so-warm welcome they may receive in Ontario’s cottage country.
In an email to Narcity, Mayor Phil Harding confirmed that there have been a string of threats targeted towards residents who have American plates.
Harding revealed that the verbal threats have including phrases like "you are not allowed to be here" and "show me your passport."
The mayor also revealed to CTV that "Americans are afraid. I have heard of a couple incidents where locals have literally accosted people with American licence plates."
"Cars are being keyed if you have American plates. People are becoming vigilantes, and you can't do that," he added.
However, the mayor told Narcity that just because some cars have American plates, doesn't mean that they shouldn't be in the region.
In fact, he states that anyone with a U.S. plate would still have some form of Canadian citizenship and would also be a resident from the Muskoka region.
"No American Tourists would be allowed to enter the country," Harding told Narcity.
"It is disappointing to think people are being judged based on the origin of their vehicle. We are an inclusive and diverse Canada. We are an inclusive and diverse Ontario and we should be an inclusive and diverse Muskoka.”
The Canada-U.S. border has been shut down to non-essential travel since March, which has prevented Americans on the opposite side of the border to visit their Ontario cottage properties.
The Canadian Border Service Agent (CBSA) told Narcity that examples of non-essential travel that would prohibit someone from crossing the border includes "opening a seasonal residence."
However, Americans are still allowed to cross the border if they are travelling to Alaska for work or to their primary residence.
"Should an officer have any doubts with regards to the traveller’s intended purpose, they will require the traveller to prove/substantiate their purpose of travel," read a statement from the CBSA.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced this week that the temporary restriction on all optional or discretionary travel at the Canada-U.S. border would be extended until July 21, 2020.