Saturday, 26 December 2020

USA-Canadian border community struggles as countries stay locked down


Travel restrictions are meant to decrease the spread of the Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic. Certain Canada-USA borders run through the middle of some towns. Coronavirus travel restrictions have disrupted life in one Vermont town along the USA-Canada border.

However, the pandemic does not know borders. Technically, the country borders are what they are. There is an impact on some communities. It used to be much easier to cross the borders from Canada to USA and from USA to Canada.

For Canada, some travel exceptions exist, such as for the purpose of reuniting certain families. It seems that until the virus is under control, Canada will not be decreasing restrictions at the border.

The Canada-United States border is officially known as the International Boundary. This is the longest international border in the world between 2 countries. The terrestrial boundary (including boundaries in the Great Lakes, Atlantic and Pacific coasts) is 8,891 kilometers (5,525 mi) long. The land border has 2 sections: Canada's border with the contiguous USA to its south, and Canada's border with the USA state of Alaska to its west. The bi-national International Boundary Commission deals with matters relating to marking and maintaining the boundary, and the International Joint Commission deals with issues concerning boundary waters. The agencies currently responsible for facilitating legal passage through the international boundary are the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and USA Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The Treaty of Paris of 1783 was created at that time. In the second article of the Treaty, the parties agreed on all boundaries of the United States, including, but not limited to, the boundary to the north along then-British North America. The agreed-upon boundary included the line from the northwest angle of Nova Scotia to the northwesternmost head of Connecticut River, and proceeded down along the middle of the river to the 45th parallel of north latitude.

The parallel had been established in the 1760s as the boundary between the provinces of Quebec and New York (including what would later become the State of Vermont). It was surveyed and marked by John Collins and Thomas Valentine from 1771 to 1773.

The Saint Lawrence River and the Great Lakes became the boundary further west, between the United States and what is now Ontario. Northwest of Lake Superior, the boundary followed rivers to the Lake of the Woods. From the northwesternmost point of the Lake of the Woods, the boundary was agreed to go straight west until it met the Mississippi River. In fact, that line never meets the river since the river's source is further south.

The Jay Treaty of 1794 (effective 1796) was created the International Boundary Commission, which was charged with surveying and mapping the boundary. It also provided for the removal of British military and administration from Detroit, as well as other frontier outposts on the USA side. The Jay Treaty was superseded by the Treaty of Ghent (effective 1815) concluding the War of 1812, which included pre-war boundaries.

The War of 1812 was a conflict fought between the United States and its allies, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and its allies.

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