Media Releases Nov 19, 2021

Government putting one-way door on the border with PCR after pledging to jointly manage it with the US yesterday: Canadian Chamber of Commerce


(OTTAWA) – November 19, 2021 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s President and CEO, Perrin Beatty, issued the following statement following today’s confirmation that PCR testing will remain in place for Canadian travelers returning from the U.S. after more than 72 hours.

“While it’s good news that the government is eliminating the policy that forced people taking a short visit to the US to take a costly molecular test before returning to Canada. In many instances travelers took the test before ever leaving Canada, which simply added expense and time-consuming administration that contributed nothing to public safety.

Instead of abolishing the molecular test for fully-vaccinated travellers, however, the government will require it for any foreigners coming into Canada and for Canadians who are abroad for more than 72 hours. This policy is at odds with the advice of the government’s Expert Advisory Panel, which recommended doing away with the tests for fully-vaccinated travellers.

In essence, the government is putting a one-way door on the border, which will have serious consequences for businesses in communities near the US border. Just as the holiday shopping season, the most important period for the retail sector, begins, Ottawa is making it easier for Canadians to cross-border shop while maintaining punitive restrictions that discourage fully-vaccinated Americans from vacationing or shopping in Canada. At the same time, business meetings will now increasingly take place in the U.S., not Canada, which is bad news for our beleaguered hotel sector.

The 72-hour cut-off is also arbitrary. It is hard to understand how travelers are low-risk for 72 hours, but become a danger at hour 73.

Yesterday in Washington, President Biden and the Prime Minister pledged to “develop a renewed vision for joint management of the border, including increasing the efficiency, effectiveness, and safety of bilateral measures, and applying lessons learned from the pandemic.” Less than one day later, Canada doubled down on its unilateral measures that continue to make our shared border costly and inefficient.”

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.

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For more information, please contact:
Phil Taylor
ptaylor@chamber.ca