Announcements expands cross-border travel accessibility for Minnesotan property owners to visit their Canadian properties, address flooding damage
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) released the following statement after the Canadian government announced that it would ease border entry restrictions for Minnesotans who own property in Canada on Sand Point Lake, providing more accessible cross-border travel for property owners to visit their residences and address damage caused by recent flooding.
“As chair of the U.S.-Canada Inter-Parliamentary Group, I have long advocated for eliminating barriers to travel between Canada and the United States, since cross-border travel is crucial to businesses and families across Minnesota,” said Klobuchar. “This announcement will help ensure that Minnesotans can more easily visit their properties on Sand Point Lake and protect their residences from flooding damage. While there is still more work to be done to ease cross-border travel, particularly with addressing challenges surrounding the Remote Area Border Crossing Program, this announcement is a welcome step towards allowing Minnesotans to safely and conveniently access their businesses and residences across the Canadian border.”
In March, Klobuchar urged the Biden administration to work with the Canadian government to explore options to ease border restrictions between the two countries, particularly relating to the Remote Area Border Crossing Program, which allows Americans to cross into Canada in certain remote areas. She has also spoken to the Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. and Canadian parliamentarians, highlighting the need to remove barriers to travel between Minnesota and Canada.
“While many restrictions to enter Canada have been lifted, the Remote Area Border Crossing Program [remains suspended]. Without the Remote Area Border Crossing Program, many properties and businesses remain functionally unreachable,” Klobuchar wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. “As the Biden Administration continues to move forward with a plan to allow us to navigate life with more normalcy while preparing for future coronavirus mutations or variants, the need for drastic restrictions on travel should give way to common-sense solutions that will allow for U.S. residents to visit their homes and businesses in Canada.”
Klobuchar has long advocated for safely re-opening the U.S.-Canadian border. In November 2021, Klobuchar met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and called on the Canadian government to ensure parity in border entry requirements. She also successfully led efforts to ease border restrictions over land and ferry ports of entry.
Klobuchar has also been actively working to secure resources for communities throughout the state that have been impacted by the recent flooding damage and the cold, wet spring weather.
Last week, she, Senator Tina Smith (D-MN), and Governor Tim Walz (D-MN) visited International Falls, near the Canadian border, to survey the damage caused by recent storms and flooding.
At a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing last month Klobuchar secured Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s commitment to provide disaster assistance for farmers affected by adverse weather.
Earlier in May, Klobuchar led the entire Minnesota Congressional delegation in urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide federal assistance for impacted Minnesota farmers. Also that month, Klobuchar held a virtual roundtable with local officials from across the state to discuss their ongoing efforts to support communities affected by the severe adverse weather.