Deputy Minister Chrystia Freeland is urging Canadian companies to have patience as the federal government faces growing questions about reopening the economy and border.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce hosted Freeland at a virtual event today to discuss the budget, and she was pressed on the government's plans to end the border closure.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair on Tuesday extended restrictions on non-essential travel from overseas and across the border with the U.S. for another month.
Non-essential travel restrictions with the United States have been extended until May 21st, 2021. We will continue to base our decisions on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe from #COVID19.— Bill Blair (@BillBlair) April 20, 2021
Without asking for specific dates, Chamber president Perrin Beatty suggested the government could lay out the criteria it will use to determine whether the border restrictions can end.
Freeland refused to provide any specifics, however, acknowledging Canadian companies want predictability before repeatedly underscoring the unpredictable nature of COVID-19.
Freeland, who is also Canada’s finance minister, said everyone needs to be flexible at the moment as the country continues grappling with the pandemic.
And she suggested rapid-testing kits could soon be flowing to companies even as she encouraged all Canadians to get vaccinated as quickly as possible.