Hundreds of thousands of people boarded international flights to and out of Canada from March 21 to May 24 this year.
According to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), Canada saw 301,781 international travellers during this time period.
Meanwhile during a single day on May 24, 1,942 international travellers arrived in or left Canada.
“During the week of May 18 to May 24, 2020, volumes were down 90% for those crossing via land, and 98% at airports compared to the same time a year ago. On May 24, 2020 alone, travellers on US flights were down 99% and international air travellers were down more than 97% compared to the previous year. These numbers are consistent with the previous week.,” wrote the CBSA.
The statistics show that while travel by land and air is significantly down, thousands are still crossing the border into Canada internationally and from the US.
From March 21 to May 24 Canada witnessed 123,694 travellers on US flights.
On March 16, the Trudeau government implemented further restrictions on international travellers and suspended non-essential travel along Canada’s border with the US.
Prior to the decision, Liberal Health Minister Patty Hajdu consistently made the claim that border closures and travel restrictions would do nothing to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Hajdu suggested that borders were becoming less relevant as the virus was spreading on March 4th.
“The more countries that have outbreaks, the less relevant borders become. A virus knows no borders,” said Hajdu.
Later on March 13, Hajdu also stated that border measures were “highly ineffective” in the fight against the coronavirus.
“Canadians think we can stop this at the border. But what we see is a global pandemic, which means that border measures are highly ineffective and, in some cases, can create harm. We see that in countries that had the worst expressions, the tightest borders,” said Hajdu.
The Liberals have consistently flip-flopped on a number of crucial measures like border controls during their pandemic response.