Ontario Decries ‘Reckless’ U.S. Effort to Reopen After Covid

The U.S. response to Covid-19 has been “reckless,” the leader of Canada’s largest province said as the two countries moved closer to a deal to extend limits on cross-border travel.

Premier Doug Ford’s blunt assessment bolsters the position of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has so far resisted calls from some Canadian business leaders to relax restrictions put in place this spring to help contain the spread of coronavirus.

Ontario Decries ‘Reckless’ U.S. Effort to Reopen After Covid

“Don’t get me wrong. I love the Americans. I don’t want them up here right now” Ford told reporters Tuesday in Cambridge, Ontario. “After this pandemic, you’re welcome to come up, but it’s been reckless down there.”

Trudeau and President Donald Trump spoke about border restrictions this week, with the prime minister saying Monday talks on extending them were ongoing. Canada and the U.S. have since agreed to maintain the non-essential travel ban until August, according to a report Tuesday by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

With the tourism sector and airline industry taking a heavy hit from Covid-19 shutdowns, pressure is growing on Trudeau to loosen up. Last month, heads of 27 Canadian companies wrote to him asking the government to make it easier to fly.

But at the same time provincial leaders like Ford are watching Canada’s largest trading partner grapple with a potential second wave of the virus. Florida has just set a new state record for deaths and recorded the biggest daily increase in cases across all the U.S.

“That’s the only way I can describe it. They’ve been reckless, they moved forward too quickly, and we’re going right at the right speed,” the Ontario premier said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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