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WNYers with cottages in Canada in limbo

Posted at 6:22 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 18:22:38-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — For Western New Yorkers who have summer homes in Canada, the COVID-19 shutdown has left them in limbo.

Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the U.S. -Canada border will remain closed to non-essential traffic through June 21.

“It’s disappointing and somewhat frustrating that we can’t get to our cottage in Crystal Beach,” said Timothy Sember, who has a cottage across the border. “We’ve been anxious to get there and do some repairs, but we understand why. It doesn’t make it easy.”

Sember says his property was damaged during the October 31 storm of 2019, and he’s been eager to get up to repair it.

“Whatever time we can get up there just delays opening,” he said.

About seven hours North East in Quebec is Karen Myers family cottage. Her lake house has been in the family for 80 years. She has some concerns about not being able to get to her property.

“We try to keep it occupied all summer because a lot of people stop by the beach and we don’t want any problems with that,” she said.

Myers says she is usually at her cottage by now, but is quarantining in Arizona.

“It’s a very old cabin and it’s not secure so we want to make sure it’s in good shape,” she said.

The extension isn’t just a problem for those with cottages but commerce and travel as well. The NFTA says 40% of its travelers out of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport are Canadian. The NFTA also says during this time the amount of people traveling is extremely low.