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

COVID-19: Interior Health orders closure of all fitness centres until May 30

The order is subject to revision, cancellation, or extension

Clearwater healthy living classes live-streamed for those in self-isolation

Those interested can follow along with yoga, body conditioning exercises, and mental wellness talks

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

Clearwater RCMP look for missing Alberta man

Wayne Theriault was last believed to have been seen on March 24

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

Celebrate Easter in a ‘safe way,’ Dr. Henry urges as B.C records 6 new COVID-19 deaths

Top doctor urges British Columbians to halt non-essential travel within the province

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

B.C.’s senior home staff measures show results in COVID-19 battle

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s order restricts care aides to one facility

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

B.C. unveils $3.5M COVID-19 emergency fund for post-secondary students

Money will help students cover living expenses, food, travel, portable computers

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

COVID-19: ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ recorded and released

LISTEN: Quick turnaround for song penned by B.C. Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer

Most Read