WNY officials "disappointed" after U.S. extends land border travel again

U.S. entry at Peace Bridge.jpg
Posted at 4:33 PM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-20 18:28:01-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Canadians have not been allowed to drive into the U.S. for 18 months, when the border first closed to non-essential travel in March 2020.

The ban has been extended every month since then.

Canada re-opened its border to fully-vaccinated Americans August 9, but again, Canadians are still not allowed to drive into the states.

Congressman Brian Higgins shared his thoughts on the update travel restrictions, Monday morning.

The decision is also met with criticism from other officials in Western New York.

Buffalo Niagara Partnership president and CEO, Dottie Gallagher, told 7ABC that is was "extremely disappointing" and said the Biden Administration is "defying logic".

Gallagher said, "The U.S. government had a higher vaccination rate than Canadians, and now the reverse it true. We're told that time that we had to follow the science. Now, we have Canadians that have a higher vaccination rate than we do, so what's really going on."

Gallagher said the administration needs to be more clear as to exactly why the U.S. land border will not reopen because families are being affected by this.

She said, "It's not just people who are connected to some sort of tourism. It's really families that are separated. We have a very integrated bi-national economy here. Every day that border stays closed, people get hurt financially and is more difficult for their families. If I were to give a message to President Biden, it would be there are real people that are affected by this decision. Without some logical explanation, it's really difficult to understand why it continues to happen."

Gallagher added that 10% of Bills season ticket holders are also Canadian. She explained that on the tourism side of things, Western New York is headed towards another full season of lost revenue.

"It's great that we can go to Canada, and we can partake in things in Canada but our friends to the north are not coming here and they're not spending money. They can't attend our sporting events, they don't shop in our stores, they can't go to our cultural events, and this is a significant amount of money," she said.