The Washington, D.C.-based Wilson Center has announced the formation of a cross-border task force to study the problem of how and when to relax rules imposed by the U.S. and Canada that limit border travel to essential travel. The border restrictions were once again extended until December 21, the eighth time they have been renewed since they were imposed on March 21.
The members of the Wilson Task Force on Public Health and the US-Canadian Border include former Quebec premier Jean Charest; former Washington governor Christine Gregoire; former deputy Canadian prime minister Anne McLellan and former Michigan governor Rick Snyder.
The task force will be staffed by the Canada Institute at the Wilson Center. Christopher Sands, director of the institute, said in a press release, “The problem of how to reopen the US-Canadian border is both technical and political. Technically, how can health screening be incorporated into the existing inspections conducted at the land, air, and maritime borders without undue delays to efficient supply chains and the traveling public? And politically, how can the United States and Canada restore public confidence in the shared border so that they will resume cross border activities and be reassured that pandemic risks are being managed cooperatively and safely by both countries?”
The report is expected to be published next March.