BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) It’s been 458 days since non-essential travel has been allowed at the United States border with Canada, and on Tuesday afternoon a group of demonstrators made it clear they are tired of waiting.
“My children miss their grandparents. I miss my parents,” said Suzanne Tomasello, one of about 20 protesters who walked all the way to top of the Peace Bridge and stopped at Canadian line at the top. They weren’t breaking any laws but are showing their frustration that non essential travel is still not allowed.
“I don’t think this is gonna solve it, but I think having a voice and showing this today is what’s gonna get that message out there. It’s safe to open the border, at least to vaccinated people,” said Tomasello. “If we’re following the science, there’s no reason that my vaccinated parents cannot come across this border just to see their families.”
Sheila Wartinger also has family in Canada. “My son hasn’t seen his father in over a year. He was allowed to cross for 45 minutes when his other grandmother died and only to go to the funeral and back. It’s just ridiculous. I’ve had enough.”
John Adams lives in the United States but owns property in Canada. “I can pay the taxes on it. I can run ads that show it by hundreds of thousands of people , I can brag about it, I can talk about it, I can cry about it. The only thing I can’t do is go to it.”
Up until today, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had indicated he wanted to wait until 75% of Canadians are fully vaccinated before opening the border. But on Tuesday afternoon, Trudeau hinted that some announcement could now be weeks away. “We are looking at continuing our plan for gradual and safe reopening, hopefully with more announcements in the coming weeks about next and further steps.”
George Richert is an award-winning reporter who first joined the News 4 team in 1998, later returning in 2018. See more of his work here.