With 61-percent of Canadians 18 and older vaccinated, the MP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock Jamie Schmale hopes the Canada-United States border opens soon.

“People are getting anxious and that’s kind of the incentive to get vaccinated,” he tells the MyHaliburtonNow.com newsroom. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier this week he will not rush to reopen the border, while the White House has not released a statement on its view. 

“It’s quite concerning for the economy,” Schmale says. He points to places like Niagara Falls that rely heavily on tourism dollars. He spoke with Niagara Falls MP Tony Baldinelli who said that it’s “painful” to see the border closed because they look across it and see thousands of workers in the hospitality and tourism industry thriving, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Schmale says it’s “frustrating” to not be keeping pace with that.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that two weeks after you get your second shot you can resume activities you did prior to the pandemic starting and no longer need to wear a mask. “Health Canada has yet to update their data on this,” Schmale says. The data from the government touts six percent of Canadians are now fully vaccinated, while CDC shows that 41-percent of Americans have gotten two shots.  

Schmale says some residents who spent the winter in Florida and managed to get fully vaccinated, are now back in Canada but aren’t treated as if they have gotten both doses. He hopes that Health Canada realizes this and speeds up its approval process. “We need to keep pace with that,” he says, adding that things are going to be changing rapidly as the country gradually reopens, so we need to be able to keep up.