Canadian support for keeping the border closed to Americans remains strong, despite a decline in new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and a decimated tourism industry.
A new poll by pollster Research Co. found that out of 1,000 Canadians surveyed online at the end of August, a whopping 90 per cent agreed with the current Canada-U.S. border closure to non-essential traffic.
The show of support comes at a time when several Canadian border cities are licking their wounds over a loss of U.S. tourism. Nevertheless, they're maintaining their support for the border closure, to help stop the spread of COVID-19 from the country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths.
"As much as this hurts — and it hurts — it's all about short-term pain for long-term gain," said Jim Diodati, mayor of Niagara Falls, Ont.
He said that pre-pandemic, U.S. tourism pumped close to $1 billion annually into the economy of Niagara Falls and its surrounding area.
Even so, Diodati said he supports the border closure, and so do around a dozen other Ontario border-town mayors who took part in a video conference call with the federal government last week.
"We're not in a hurry to open that border until we've got control of what's happening on both sides," he said.