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Breaking: Canada doesn’t want US troops at border

The Trump administration is considering deploying troops near the Canadian border in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Peace Bridge connects the U.S. and Canada via Ontario and New York. (Image: Robert Linsdell/Flickr)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushed back at the prospect of the Trump administration deploying U.S. troops near the border with Canada in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it would be bad for both countries.

“Canada and the United States have the longest un-militarized border in the world and it is very much in both of our interests for it to remain that way,” Trudeau said during a news conference in Ottawa.

Officials in the Trump administration are considering the deployment to prevent irregular border crossings as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, Global News reported. Trudeau confirmed that Canadians and U.S. officials were discussing the proposal. 

“It’s benefited our two countries, our two economies tremendously [to have an un-militarized border]. We feel that it needs to remain that way.”

But even as Trudeau made his opposition to the proposal clear, he also faced increasing pressure from within Canada to place further restrictions on border crossings in response to the worsening spread of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Trudeau left open the prospect of further restrictions at the border, but stressed the importance of leaving supply chains open for essential goods and medicine.

“We continue to look for ways to keep Canadians safe while getting the goods they need,” he said.

Cross-border freight has continued to move freely between the two countries since they locked down their shared border to non-essential travel. Trucks continue to move vital loads, including food, toilet paper and medical supplies between the countries even as large industries shut down.

Trucking companies and their drivers have nervously watched developments at the border. Truckers remain exempt from the restrictions as well as 14-day isolation periods mandated by Canada for travelers. 

While no U.S. or Canadian official has publicly floated the idea of shutting down the border for freight, some truckers are worried about it happening.

“I wouldn’t put it past them to close the border,” Canadian trucker Ron McCallum told FreightWaves from Washington State where he was hauling a load of woodchips from British Columbia to a farm in Oklahoma. 

Under normal circumstances, more than C$2 billion in goods and services cross the U.S.-Canadian border daily. 

McCallum, a driver for Sharp Transportation in Ontario, said both countries would suffer from a full border closure.

“So much crosses the border each day. I don’t know what would happen to the economies,” he said.

One Comment

  1. Flaxton Amerila

    Liberals illegal anarchist policy of immigration is viewed as a threat to national security of both usa and canada as usa sees it and all because of Bill Blair , Mendicino and the last vigilante MP Minister of Immigration

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Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected].