October 15th, 2021 - 7:02pm
October 15, 2021
Minister Chrystia Freeland
House of Commons
Dear Minister Freeland,
I am writing today about the recent announcement of the Canada-United States Border reopening on November 8, 2021. This news comes with great relief for many in my border-city community as our region has been hit significantly by this pandemic both socially and economically. Families and businesses in my community of Windsor West have been impacted by border closures for the last 18 months causing great hardship on relationships, business and in particular families.
I want to bring to your attention a significant issue for most families and businesses. The federal government announced that fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and residents must show proof of negative test when returning to their home country. These tests cost approximately $150-300 depending on where it is done and how quickly results are needed. For the average family of five crossing into the US to reunite with members of their family that they have not seen in 18 months, this would cost them $750-$1,500. This is unattainable for many families in my community and across this country.
During your recent trip to Washington the media reported comments attributed to you that appeared to be very insensitive to the hardship of time, financial resources, and emotional duress the current process makes families endure. I do not want to imply this is how you felt but wanted to address this issue as I have held countless conversations with your fellow Canadians struggling with this problem and resulting in mental health issues, family relation break downs, and individual relationships either destroyed or scarred forever.
Canadian families and businesses have sacrificed many things during this pandemic to follow public health and federal government mandates. I am asking again that you consider the creation for a Safe Border Task Force to ensure the rules in place are being evaluated for protection of residents and communities of cross-border cities. I will continue to work to reunite families. My office has heard from many families worried about the costs associated with reuniting with their families. This is creating significant financial barriers for many families and businesses in my community.
Please take these concerns into consideration as we move forward together and welcome the Windsor-Detroit border opening. I thank you in advance for your time and attention to this matter and would be pleased to discuss this further at your convenience.
Member of Parliament, Windsor West