God bless America. Because admit it—no matter how much you toe the party line about Canada being the superior country, the stone cold reality is that you’re endlessly jealous of the United States.
We might have universal healthcare, Nickelback, and maple syrup that doesn’t come from a Mrs. Butterworth’s bottle, but the U.S.A. has even better things. Like Elysian Nightwatch Pumpkin Ale, authentic Texas barbecue, and Cap’ N Crunch with Crunchberries.
Canadian cities that people might actually have a passing interest in seeing before they die start and end with Vancouver, Montreal, and the Maritimes. (Let’s face it—no one out here on the West Coast knows what any of the places on the far side of the country are called, but the whole region looks scenic enough, so the “Maritimes” will do as a catch-all for the city of your choice.). America meanwhile has Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, New Orleans, Savannah, San Francisco, Seattle, Miami and, well, too many others to list here. Actually, let's name a few more: Hooker, Oklahoma; Spread Eagle, Wisconsin; Intercourse, Pennsylvania; Reamstown, Pennsylvania; and Cumming, Georgia (where the official town motto is "Oh God, I'm.....").
Anyhow, here’s what’s sucked most about the past year or so: no one living in this godforsaken hellhole of a country has been able to escape to America. Not for a quick trip across the line to stock up on five-pound blocks of cheese and load up on blowout-priced gas in Blaine. Or spend a week drunkenly lounging by the pool in Palm Springs. Or marvel at the fact that everyone in Minnesota talks like they just escaped the set of Fargo.
It’s been one of the most horrible things about COVID-19.
But good news is finally on the horizon. Because if a Point Roberts community newspaper called the All Point Bulletin is to be believed, the American government is about to declare that enough is enough for a border closure that’s been in place between the States and Canada since March of 2020.
While it’s entirely possible that reporter Pat Grubb has somehow confused May 25 with April Fool’s Day, he reported yesterday that the American government is planning to unilaterally open the border to the cheeseheads of the Great White North on June 22. With no restrictions. Thus giving a green light and all-purpose hall pass to those dying to get their hands on US$.89 tubs of Tillamook marionberry yogurt and US$9.99 24 packs of Miller Genuine High Life at Fred Meyer.
Grubb's source? That would be a “highly placed source in the Blaine port of entry”. Grubb reports that there’s been no official word, but no shortage of "scuttlebutt" among those in the know. He adds that American border patrol staff have told local U.S. immigration attorneys that the reopening will happen on the American side June 22. Grubb also notes that the reopening was confirmed to the All Point Bulletin by a high-ranking member of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (CBP). And that Canadian Border Services Agency officers are also aware of the reopening plans.
“The border was closed to non-essential traffic on March 20, 2020,” Grubb writes. “At the same time, the U.S. also suspended biometrics processing at e-SAFE ports of entry for non-essential travel and has extended the suspension each month in coordination with the border closure. Biometric processing requires individuals who are submitting electronic immigration files to go to designated ports of entry for photographs and fingerprints. On Tuesday, May 25, local immigration attorneys were notified that biometric processing had resumed, effective immediately.”
The reopening will of course come as news to Canada’s Liberal government. While there has been mounting pressure by U.S. official and politicans to reopen the border, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated that he won’t even consider easing restrictions until 75 percent of Canadians have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
At the moment only half of Canadians have received a first dose, with only 4.5 percent of the country fully vaccinated.
Still, there’s reason to hope there might be some truth to the All Point Bulletin story headlined “U.S. border to re-open June 22”. After all Point Roberts is so small everyone knows everyone, which would hint that Grubb might have the inside track at the local customs office.
So dare to dream fellow charmingly boring Canadians, and get ready to cancel that planned vacation in Dildo, Newfoundland. Instead, it's next stop Morehead, North Carolina, because the summer looks like it’s going to be all about the U.S.A. and its endlessly beautiful bounty of Blue Moon Horchata beer, cases of Two-Buck Chuck Red Wine, and Chile Limon bags of Lay’s potato chips. None of which you can get in stupid Canada. God bless America.