Resort owners, Canadian residents or people in the know. When will the boarder open?
Canadian Border opening to non essential travel?
Obabikon is a "User Name" for a resort owner on Lake of the Woods. He frequently posts on a different fishing website (Walleye Central) and he put together a very well thought out letter to various Canadian Govt. Officials. He asked other Walleye Central members to also follow-up (which I did) and e-mail the same govt. officials. What was posted earlier was a response that was sent to various folks who sent the email.. If you want to see the actual letter/data on Walleye Central it is under the "Eh Canada" forum. Once again it is a well written document that goes over a lot of the benefits NW Ontario gets from US fishing/tourism and explains the hardships realized by hundreds of outfitters and all the supporting business owners to that industry.. I just posted the E-mail address's that were copied on the letter (see below).. Most of the Govt/folks did not reply but Mr. Powlowski did..
Darin- I hope it was OK for me to post this data that was on another fishing website.
Hey Kutt2, does this guy from the Parlament have an email address or someway we could correspond with him? Just wondering
Kutt2, thanks so much for the input & letter. That puts an entirely different "twist" on the whole situation that I had not considered. That being said, we, including this Dr., are still all surmising as to the possible border opening. I sincerely the "higher ups" consider the 2nd option. Again, thank you for all of that info!
I heard this from "a guy" in Canada
A couple of weeks ago Obabikon posted an email letter to various Canadian government officials that expressed the help needed by resort owners as a result of the closed border. Many W/C members joined in and sent out the emails. Some of the officials replied with canned “thank you” messages. One wanted my Canadian address because he only responded to constituents. Today, however, I got this response. There’s nothing definite there, but it’s the most encouraging thought yet!
Good evening everyone,
Thank you for all the emails you have sent that were prepared by Team Obabikon. I have met with many of the tourism operators in my riding and have had many calls regarding the dire situation facing their businesses. I am fully aware of the economic devastation they are experiencing at the moment and the tough position their families are in.
I agree that we need clarity on the border. If exact assurances cannot be given about what changes will be coming at the border and when, then I believe the Government should provide estimates based on the evidence they have now. Having no information is not fair for tourism businesses. I have made this point repeatedly to my Government and caucus colleagues.
As I’ve mentioned in my calls with some of the business owners who sent these emails, as a doctor and someone who speaks often with infectious disease experts, I have my own views about what may happen with the border this spring and summer. In all, I see three possible scenarios.
One is the complete opening of the border without restrictions for vaccinated and unvaccinated people early on in the season. This seems to me unlikely given the amount of COVID-19 in the US and Canada and the possible risks that COVID-19 variants pose to vaccination efforts (though these risks may be minimal, if the current preliminary data on the effectiveness of the vaccines against preventing severe disease with the variants is correct).
Another is the opening of the border for individuals who have been vaccinated without restrictions. This to me seems a very likely option that Canada and the US will take – though, I have to stress that I do not have any inside information on this that makes me feel this way. I am basing this on the preliminary data I have seen on the ability for the vaccines currently being used in Canada and the US to prevent the ability for a vaccinated person to spread the COVID-19 virus. To put it simply, vaccines can make you immune to a disease – meaning you do not get sick – but you may still carry the virus within you which can then be passed on to other people. It seems that in these early stages of the vaccination campaigns, Pfizer/Biotech and Moderna’s vaccines significantly reduce a person’s ability to spread the COVID-19 virus once they are immune (see https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00450-z). However, this data is very early and not based on large sample sizes. Time is still needed for these findings to be borne out. I think in the next two months or so, we will have a much better idea about this. My educated guess – and that is all it is – is that these findings will likely be correct.
Another reason for my belief in the likelihood of this scenario is the fact that by the summer, most if not all vulnerable groups will be vaccinated in Canada, along with a fair share of rest of population as well.
The third scenario is the worst one – that is, the current border restrictions remain in place either through the season, or at least late into the season. I personally do not think this is a likely scenario – or one that I would advise given the current data. However, with the outside possibility that the vaccines may not be effective at preventing spread of the variants – which as I noted above, seems unlikely given the preliminary data – this could possibly happen.
If this is the case, significant additional government funding is needed to keep tourism operators afloat. There are programs right now that can provide loans to many of these businesses – for example, the $ 1 million Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability loan program (https://www.bdc.ca/en/special-suppor...20flow%20needs.) However, I know that these loans are only forcing businesses into more debt. Grants and explicitly forgivable loans are needed. I have been vocal to my Government about this since last spring and have worked with NDP and Conservatives to advocate for this.
As well, even though I believe the second scenario involving vaccinated travel into Canada is the likely road we will go down, I still recognize that business may not be at 100% or that debt incurred from last year may hinder their ability to start-up this year and receive customers. I have explicitly asked my Government for federal support for businesses to cover their seasonal insurance costs this season regardless if the border opens or closes, as well tax rebates for the next two years to help keep money in the pockets of these businesses as they rebuild.
Everything I have said in here is based on my understanding of the current evidence surrounding the virus and the vaccines. What I want for all of you is to have clarity from the Government about what will happen at the border. That, along with the financial advocacy, is my top priority. Though I am one MP, there are many other MPs in the same boat as myself, and I am working as hard as I can to get my other colleagues to push the Government for an answer on this question.
I apologize for my delay in responding to your emails. I wanted to take the time provide a substantive response to all of you. I would encourage the businesses that have contacted me from outside my riding to also write to their MPs and raise these concerns with them as well.
Member of Parliament
Thunder Bay-Rainy River
BP1 & Symmetre, after talking to my Canadian friend and reading your posts, I sadly could not agree more. MAYBE a trip to the Boundary Waters would be allowed, and I'm not sure of that! I am definitely going to alter my summer fishing vacation plans to not include Canada.
As of this morning (Feb 25) the province of Ontario, the city of Ottawa and the city of Toronto announced they have cancelled all scheduled events until at least July 1, and they're saying additional cancellations are likely to follow. Its not a good sign when the politicians shut down their own wine and cheese events.
As much as people want to come to Canada to fish, and as much as Canadian lodge operators want you here, forget about it for this year guys. It's March next week, and things are still not looking very good at all.
If I lived in the US, I would be booking a trip to Alaska, or maybe go saltwater fishing in the Virgin Islands. I think people who hold out hoping things will improve will be disappointed, and wind up not going anywhere at all.
Just saying ...
Not sure about the o.p. but common sense tells me thunder bay is in a total lock down and the likelyhood of any border opening is not gonna happen this year.
What's your take on that trout?
Just got off the phone with my Canadian friend and he says that Thunder Bay is going back to a full lock-down starting Friday 2/26/21. Barbershops, bars, restaurants, etc. all closed again. Gas stations and grocery stores open under very strict stipulations of hours and number of customers. Because of this, he feels it is highly unlikely that the border will be open this year, unless the numbers come down drastically. Symmetre, what's your take on this?
Hey BP1, where does your common sense come from? We are born with a free will, but not with common sense. Common sense comes from what using all of your senses and then forming an opinion. Without common sense, we would have no rationale, and January 6th was a perfect example of that, no common senses, no rationale.
The border will open only when those in an athoritative position see fit to open it, and there's nothing we can do to sway their decision.
Toughontrout you do that. As for myself I will use my own common sense. As for Canada its clearly time to move on for this year. Plenty of awesome destinations in the U.S.A. with needy people wanting my tourist dollars. Pike Out.