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

Easter Bunny set for drive-by waves and hellos in Crofton Sunday

Location at 7987 York Ave. will provide some good fun and cheer amid COVID-19

Puppycats Pet Emporium provides all the essentials for our precious pets

We can’t neglect our pets during the COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily, the Puppycats… Continue reading

Room to roam not easy for all

Crowded cities a recipe for COVID-19 disaster

Cowichan Valley parks and trails remain open for health and wellbeing of residents

Cowichan governments agree essential to provide residents with opportunities to enjoy the outdoors

Tromans a master at his chainsaw carving craft

Numerous competitions and workshops lined up will have to wait during COVID-19 outbreak

VIDEO: B.C. singer creates frontline workers tribute song

Cambree Lovesy’s song saluting those battling COVID-19 draws interest online

Long list of events disrupted by COVID-19 around the community

Challenging situation affecting fundraisers, entertainment, sports and more

Researchers to study whether plasma of recovered patients can treat COVID-19

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood that contains the antibodies that protect against illness

Cowichan Valley man dies in single-vehicle collision

First responders called to Miller Road shortly after midnight on Thursday

B.C., Alberta health ministers urge public to stay home Easter weekend

Regional politicians, online petition calling for closure of provincial border to non-essential traffic

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C. First Nations Health Authority launches virtual doctor program

Program to provide primary health care through COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read