Customs & Immigration

Border to remain closed

The Canada-U.S. agreement to limit cross-border traffic is being extended by another month, to 21 August, and government officials indicate that further extension is likely due to the sharp resurgence of COVID-19 in most U.S. states. “We recognize that the situation continues to be complex in the United States,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said after he and President Donald Trump had discussed the situation 13 July. “Every month, we have been able to extend the border closures to all but essential goods and services and those discussions are ongoing.” [node:read-more:link]

Border closure extended

The Canada-U.S. border will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least 21 September, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair has confirmed. First imposed in March when the COVID-19 pandemic began to surge, it has been extended several times due to concerns about developments in the U.S. [node:read-more:link]

Courts review refugee agreement

Government lawyers are in Court to argue that the Federal Court misapplied the law in July when it found the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the U.S. violates constitutional guarantees of life, liberty and security by allowing claimants to be returned to make their claim in the country where they first arrived. [node:read-more:link]

COVID-19: passport talks “very live”

Canada and its G7 partners are discussing some form of vaccine passports to facilitate international travel, says Health Minister Patty Hajdu. “We’re certainly working on the idea,” she says. For the time being, the government’s travel information page states that “proof of having a vaccine does not replace a valid test result.” [node:read-more:link]

Secrecy redactions prove flimsy

Sensitive documents released by the Canada Border Services Agency in an immigration case before the Federal Court were ostensibly redacted. However the CBSA wants the documents back because when the documents’ format was changed, the redaction “could be lifted to reveal confidential and sensitive information.” [node:read-more:link]

U.S. a key COVID-19 vector

New research suggests that the U.S. has been the source of more than half of the COVID-19 variants reported in Canada. Scientists in Ontario, B.C. and Arizona used an international DNA database to track the spread. They also say that viral imports slowed somewhat after international travel restrictions were imposed in March 2020. [node:read-more:link]

Border closure extended

The Canada-U.S. border will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least May 21, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair confirmed on social media April 20, saying that “we will continue to base our decisions on the best public health advice available.” Meanwhile, a New York congressman is urging both federal governments to craft a plan to reopen the border, insisting that “with vaccines, face masks and good physical distancing, we can do so safely and successfully.” [node:read-more:link]

U.S. carriers ignore pandemic limitations

Major U.S. airlines are ignoring advice from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep middle seats vacant to curtail the spread of COVID-19. American, United, Delta and Southwest Airlines have announced plans to unblock those seats, citing their national lobby’s conclusion that the risk of onboard transmission is low. [node:read-more:link]

Brexit decision faces U.K. voters

After weeks of political seesawing, British voters head to the polls in a Dec. 12 general election, the results of which will effectively be a referendum on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s determination to take the U.K. out of the European Union. With Parliament deadlocked, he put forward a motion which passed 438-20 in the hope that a majority win will be a mandate for Brexit. [node:read-more:link]

Brexit deadline "flextended"

Opposition parties in the British House of Commons are gearing up for a Oct. 29 vote on whether to call a snap election – a day after defeating a motion by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to have an snap election to reinforce his Brexit campaign. Meanwhile, European Union leaders have agreed in principle to what the European Council’s Polish president, Donald Tusk is calling a “flextension”of the European Union’s deadline, until Jan. 31. [node:read-more:link]

Another government shutdown looming

Paying for President Donald Trump’s border wall with Mexico as well as the use of military personnel to provide additional security has again become a major roadblock to reaching congressional agreement on spending bills. The ongoing impasse could result in another government shutdown in less than four weeks. [node:read-more:link]


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