youtubeEditor's Note: Latest reports indicate a Canadian border reopening July 21, 2021.

As I write this in early June, there are still no updates on the Canadian/US border opening. There are some rumors out there that the US is going to open their side of the border on June 22, the day after the latest one-month unilateral agreement expires. This would mean that individuals in Canada would be allowed to cross into the USA, although even if this rumor is true, there are no details on whether proof of vaccination would be required. Just the other day, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that he had no intention of rushing into re-opening the border, even if other countries are pushing. Assuming the above scenario, it would mean people could travel into the USA freely, but would continue to have to quarantine when returning to Canada. Not really a sustainable plan.

Personally, I think it’s high time to allow unrestricted travel across the border. At time of writing, Canada is ahead of the US in percentage of the population who have had a single vaccination (60% for Canada and around 50% for USA), so statistically there should be no additional virus risk if the border is open. I often think about the isolated community of Point Roberts, which has struggled greatly over the past 14 months or so that they have been cut off from their lifeline city of Tsawwassen. Considering that community does not have some simple amenities such as a hospital and other important infrastructure. Their business community is really struggling, and they have lost many long-time businesses, many permanently. There are surely other small border communities on both sides that are similarly struggling and it is high time to put an end to it.

Point Roberts Boundry Monument

As I have mentioned in other articles, my family and I have travelled to Southern California by RV every year for the past 35 years or so. Due to Covid-19, this tradition was broken in 2020, and again in 2021. The good news is that we are planning a family trip for Spring 2022, and it will be the first time we travel with the grandkids for their first trip. We are missing so many of our family travel adventures, which so often take us across the border into the USA. We are members of Beachwood Resort, which is only about half-hour drive from home for us. We have not been able to do this weekend getaway in over a year, and the isolation is getting old.

I’m sure most RV travelers on both sides are itching to engage in cross-border travel again. Besides breaking our California road-trip tradition, we have missed visiting many other favored destinations and travel routes. Given our proximity to the border, and our convenient Nexus cards, cross-border travel has become routine for us, whether it’s a day trip to Pt. Roberts or Bellis Fair, or a 3-week road trip vacation.

Peace Arch at the Border Crossing (photo courtesy of Washington State Parks)

Our respective governments did the right thing by restricting travel across the border during Covid, and I’m sure the move prevented the Canadian population from experiencing the same high levels of infection as Americans did. Covid really hit home for me when my dear friend Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, was taken from us by the disease last March. Even back then, nobody expected it would get as bad as it did. I am thankful the vaccines were prepared as quickly as they were, and things are finally seeming to get back to normal.

There is some speculation from experts that the border will be fully open by September, but I am really hoping it will be earlier than this so we can get back to visiting our favorite locations. There has been some silver lining to the border closure, in that it has allowed us to explore more of our own province of British Columbia that we haven’t before. Last August we travelled to the Yukon Territories for a family wedding. The Alaska highway is something to behold, especially if you enjoy wildlife. We saw numerous Bison and other animals right outside the RV, and during one fueling stop, a large Bison stood right in front of the motorhome, preventing us from immediately leaving. It was a wonderful adventure, and I can’t believe we have never taken that route before, but I truly miss crossing the border to visit locations such as Ft. Stevens, Cannon Beach, Point Roberts, the Oregon Coast, and Southern California.

Hoping to Cross the Border Soon

I hope during the past year those of you who enjoy cross-border travel have not let your RV wanderlust stay idle. Hopefully you have taken the opportunity to explore your own area and maybe discovered new locations in your own backyards. The past year-and-a-bit has been challenging for everybody, but I didn’t realize how much I take our ability to visit our neighboring country for granted all these years. It has been a real eye-opener for me, so hopefully we can return to unrestricted cross-border travel very soon. For me, being able to travel to some of our favorites destinations in the US will be the culmination of returning to normalcy.

Questions? Comments? Please add your thoughts below.

Steve Froese
Author: Steve FroeseEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Steve Froese is a Licensed Professional Engineer in British Columbia, as well as an Interprovincial Red Seal RV Technician, which is equivalent to a Master Certified RV Technician in the USA. Steve was a personal friend and colleague of the late Gary Bunzer (“the RV Doctor”), and works closely with FMCA as the monthly “Tech Talk” columnist, as well as being a member of the Technical Advisory and Education Committees. Steve and his family are lifelong and avid RVers, mostly in the Pacific Northwest.

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