Cross-border testing is a ‘big burden’ for Windsorites traveling one day, says Ward 8’s Kaschak

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Paying $ 200 each for a COVID-19 test is a “heavy burden” for Windsor residents who want to resume their cross-border day trips to attend Red Wings, Ward 8 Coun weddings, funerals, birthdays and games. Says Gary Kaschak.


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So next Monday it will present a motion to the council asking the Canadian government to remove that testing requirement, which remains in place despite the fact that the US recently announced the reopening of its land borders to fully vaccinated travelers as of the November 8 without testing.

Canada reopened its land border for nonessential travel in August, requiring that people be fully vaccinated and produce a negative molecular test, such as a PCR test, which can cost $ 200.

Maintaining the test requirement prevents Windsor residents, many of whom have mixed families on both sides of the border, from resuming cross-border day trips that have been denied since the pandemic began in March 2020. Kaschak said.


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“There have been so many things that people have missed.”

Unless you live in a border town, you don’t understand the dynamics well

The cost of the test is “really prohibitive” for people to cross during the day, he said. And the costs multiply when families travel.

“It is a huge burden on Windsor residents and Canadians who have already done the right thing and have been vaccinated,” he said. “And for me it really is not justified.”

Ward 8 Coun.  Gary Kaschak is featured in this March 2, 2020 file photo.
Ward 8 Coun. Gary Kaschak is featured in this March 2, 2020 file photo. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

It also seems counterintuitive to allow Canadians to get tested in Canada before traveling to the US as long as less than 72 hours have passed, he said.

Mayor Drew Dilkens said the pre-test provision is absurd and doesn’t provide the kind of security the government thinks it does. You could try out in Windsor and the next day travel to Detroit for the Thanksgiving Lions game with 50,000 to 60,000 in the stadium, spend the night in a hotel and attend a concert the next night, before presenting your Windsor based negative test to get back home. The mayor said that people are really upset about the test rule.


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“It’s going to be a huge sticking point for people who live in border cities like ours,” he said.

The government, he said, “must find a way to remove this restriction” so that families are not affected by an undue burden, one that would cost a family of four $ 800 just to get tested.

“Unless you live in a border town, you don’t really understand the dynamics.”

MP Irek Kusmierczyk (L – Windsor-Tecumseh) said his office “has definitely listened” to residents on the issue. “I have raised the concerns directly with the former ministers of health and public safety (there was a cabinet change on Tuesday). I will interact with the new ministers directly immediately, ”he said in a text.

“I know that our government continues to be guided by the best advice from our public health officials when evaluating our border measures, and it is true that we continue to take a cautious approach, especially in light of the variants of COVID, the current fourth wave and the dramatic situation in other countries. parts of Canada, ”he said. “But I have been raising the concerns of our residents about the PCR test directly with the responsible ministers.”


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Kaschak said that if the government remains unwilling to remove the requirement, it may be able to provide free trials to people before they travel to the United States.

Windsor Regional Hospital also expresses concern about the impact the required tests will have on its operation as the number of cross-border day trips dramatically increases. Since pharmacy tests cost $ 200, some people traveling to the U.S. can try using the free tests performed at the hospital, reserved for people with COVID-19 symptoms, CEO David Musyj said in an October 22 letter to Canadian officials.

“The problem this will present is that it will flood our (COVID-19 screening centers) with volumes and it will also delay testing for those who are truly symptomatic.”


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Musyj urges the government not to allow people to get tested in Canada before crossing the border or to provide it for free in Canada.

Kaschak, who is a retired security administrator for the Canada Border Services Agency, also anticipates that the border officers’ work will become more difficult and slower due to the requirement of proof.

“That could really get in the way of the public safety aspect that border agents are supposed to do,” he said.

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