Wednesday morning saw the Aldergrove-Lynden border crossing, on Canada’s side, with more than a kilometre of commercial trucks seeking Washington State entry. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

VIDEO: Long line of trucks at B.C. crossing after Canada’s borders close to ‘non-essential’ travel

Vehicle traffic was sparse for those attempting to gain entry into Canada from Lynden, Wa.

It started early on Wednesday.

A kilometre of commercial truck drivers in Canada lined up for hours at the Aldergrove-Lynden border, ready to transport their goods.

By 10 a.m. the lineup to get into Washington State extended north past the Aldergrove Duty Free Shop and Highway 13’s 264th Street connector, 3B Avenue.

And yet the Lynden crossing into B.C. was sparsely populated, only a few trucks passed through the port within the next hour.

[story continues below video]

The lineup seeking entry into the U.S. came just after the federal government announced closure of the U.S.-Canada border, in both directions, to non-essential traffic on Wednesday morning in an effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The closure will take effect within “hours or days,” said Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who noted that some $2.7 billion worth of goods traverse the border each day.

“We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic,” Trump tweeted Wednesday.

“Trade will not be affected.”

Essential travel will be allowed to continue in order to preserve critical supply chains, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, which means shipping trucks will continue to cross the border to deliver food, fuel and medicine.

Workers like health-care professionals who live and work on opposite sides will also be permitted to cross.

Trudeau said during a morning news conference outside his home that he spoke with Trump earlier in the day, and likened the measure to the instructions from public-health officials that people avoid visiting their neighbours – unless doing so is essential.

“Travellers will no longer be permitted to cross the border for recreation and tourism,” Trudeau elaborated.

READ MORE: Canada-U.S. border closing to non-essential travel

Government officials say exemptions will remain in place to ensure Canadians who are now in the United States are able to return home.

This was seen clearly as passenger vehicles were seen granted to cross over at both the Aldergrove and Lynden entry ports.

“In both our countries, we’re encouraging people to stay home; we’re telling our citizens not to visit their neighbours unless they absolutely have to. This collaborative and reciprocal measure is an extension of that prudent approach,” said Trudeau.

The last time the U.S.-Canada border closed was following Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

– with files from the Canadian Press

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Vernon Vipers defenceman lands with T-Birds

Jackson Caller commits to Point Grey campus for 2020-21

$173K to support Okanagan seniors amid pandemic

United Way announces more funding for frontline programs

Vernon couple support Kidney Walk despite setbacks

Jacqueline Marioni has had two kidney transplants; both organs have rejected or are rejecting her

Vernon Vipers land prep school blueliner

Griffen Barr, from Nanaimo, was captain of Shawnigan Lake club in 2019-20

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Bank of Canada keeps key interest rate target on hold at 0.25%

Central bank now expects GDP to decline between 10 and 20 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2019

Princeton RCMP sergeant kills cougar threatening residential neighborhood

An RCMP officer shot and killed a cougar, close to a residential… Continue reading

Pilot project approved: Penticton to allow alcohol in outdoor spaces

For almost two hours, council debated the proposed pilot project, before eventually passing it 4-2

Drugs, machete found in truck with stolen plate driven by Salmon Arm man

Chase RCMP arrest driver and have vehicle towed

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment in schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Top cop calls video of Kelowna Mountie striking suspect ‘concerning’

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

Most Read