In case you missed it: Gov. Jay Inslee sent a letter today to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterating his call for reopening the U.S.-Canada land border for non-essential travel to provide relief for individuals and communities impacted by the prolonged closure.
The letter comes after a recent announcement from Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau that the Canadian government is considering reopening to vaccinated Americans. Inslee also highlighted hardships faced by community members in Point Roberts, a Washington town that must travel through Canada to reach other parts of Washington state.
The governor encouraged the U.S. State Department to coordinate with the Canadian government to ensure the implementation of the reopening plan, and to immediately fully or partially reopen the border in British Columbia to assist the community in Point Roberts.
The letter reads, in part:
"Point Roberts and British Columbia have a long-intertwined history. But because of the continued border closure to non-essential travel, businesses in Point Roberts are at risk of closing, houses in the community are neglected, and residents are experiencing isolation. I recently allocated $100,000 in emergency funding to the only grocery store in Point Roberts to ensure that residents have access to food and necessary supplies, but I know the thing that will best help Washingtonians in this community and other border communities in the state is to reopen the border so they can again thrive.
"More than 70 percent of people in Washington State age 16 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This is a tremendous milestone and it is my understanding that British Columbia has experienced a similar level of success in protecting residents from the virus. Because of the success of vaccination programs on both sides of the border, I firmly believe that the time has come to reopen the U.S.-Canada border at least partially, that it is safe to do so, and that doing so will benefit communities in both countries."
Read the full letter here.