OTTAWA – Canada’s plan to reopen its border next week to U.S. tourists could be in trouble, as the union representing customs and immigration officers has said it is ready to cut services at border crossings, airports and shipping ports on Friday morning, unless a new labor agreement is reached.
A work disruption could disrupt the North American economy, given the close supply chain links between the United States and Canada. Additionally, it could deal a further blow to Canadian businesses in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors, where sales have plummeted due to the Covid-19 pandemic amid border restrictions in place since March of l ‘last year, and who were relying on a partial reopening to help recoup what’s left of the summer season.
Canada announced last month that it would reopen its borders to fully immunized U.S. citizens and permanent residents currently living in the United States to enter for tourism and recreation, starting August 9.
“A strike could deter fully vaccinated Americans from taking a trip if they fear excessive delays,” said Mark Agnew, vice president of policy at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
The US Department of Homeland Security has extended its land border restrictions with Canada and Mexico until August 21.