Burgum wants international border blockade to end

"This is critical for North Dakota"

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum says it’s critical that the Port of Entry in Emerson, Manitoba is allowed to open again to facilitate the flow of international trade between the U.S. and Canada.

Demonstrators who oppose Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements for commercial truck drivers set up a blockade last week.  The Royal Canadian Mounted Police says nearly all northbound and southbound traffic is shut down.  Emerson is just north of the international border near Pembina, N.D.

“Obviously, we’re committed to make sure that we’ve got free and open flow of people and goods and services across the border. This is critical for North Dakota,” Burgum told KVRR News.

“In many cases, Canada’s got vaccination rates that are even higher than the United States. It feels to me that some of this controversy is unnecessary… and we should just get that border working and flowing back and forth as it should.”

Burgum says because the Emerson Port of Entry is blocked, the closest 24-hour border crossing is more than 150 miles to the west. He says the blockade, combined with a shortage of truck drivers and excessive federal regulations are making it tough to move goods.

“I feel that some of the rules are creating problems as opposed to solving them” Burgum said.  “The shortage of CDL drivers we’re having right now, with these new federal regulations, which we think are also excessive… We’re short of drivers, we need more, and now we’re making them drive further for what?… when we should just have the border open.”

Burgum says he’s been in contact with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Manitoba Premier Heather Stafanson regarding the issue.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News, Politics / Elections