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‘I just don’t trust them’ – Canadian truck drivers are afraid of coming into US

Published Jul 22nd, 2020 9:15PM EDT
Canada US border
Image: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
  • The Canada-US border closure has been extended for at least another month, and may possibly stay closed beyond that as a result of the worsening coronavirus pandemic situation in the US.
  • One group of people still free to cross the border — truckers delivering goods — say they don’t want to.
  • A growing number of Canadian truckers are scared to enter the US because of the perception that Americans aren’t taking the virus seriously enough, in addition to the scary numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths that keep surging.

Last week, Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Canada-US border would remain closed for most people until at least August 21, with additional extensions of the border closure possible beyond that date. Basically, it means that non-essential travel can’t take place between the two countries right now, which is no surprise given how the situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic in the US is continuing to spiral out of control.

There is, however, at least one group of people who are allowed to cross the border and travel to and from Canada into the US. Canadian truckers can still continue their work as normal — but, increasingly, they don’t want to. That includes people like Leanne Steeves, a long-haul truck driver from Ontario who told CBC News that she’s concerned about being in the US because we don’t seem to be taking the virus seriously enough. “It’s like they don’t care,” she said about Americans. “Life is normal. Nothing’s changed for them.”

A Reddit thread about this news highlighted the quote from another truck driver, Dan Carson from southern Ontario, who told Global News that Americans aren’t taking the virus seriously and “I just don’t trust them.”

“I don’t trust ‘them’ either,” one Redditor replied. “And I live in the US.”

You can’t say you blame them, though. The latest coronavirus statistics from Johns Hopkins University show that almost 4 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the US thus far, and almost 143,000 deaths have been reported. Likewise, at a news conference on Tuesday, President Trump finally acknowledged what everyone else has been saying for weeks now about the coronavirus situation in the US: That “it will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better.”

For comparison, the latest coronavirus statistics for Canada show that only around 113,705 coronavirus cases (as of the time of this writing) have been identified in the country, while less than 9,000 people have died from the virus. That state of Florida alone has seen around double the number of cases that all of Canada has.

Steeves and her husband drive a truck across the border every week, carrying goods to California. She described the situation here as “scary” to her. “I’m praying they don’t open the borders. That would just make everything up here that much worse … They need to protect our country.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.