Chris Selley: Public health officials still take Canadians for idiots

The federal government solved a political problem on Friday, and as it has so many times over the past 20 months, it gratuitously insulted Canadians’ collective and individual intelligence. The only saving grace this time around is that it will make some Canadians’ lives easier, rather than more difficult: As of Nov. 30 — just in time for cross-border families and friends to miss out on another American Thanksgiving — those of us wishing to visit the United States for less than 72 hours can return home without proof of a negative test. The problem was a large and growing constituency calling for a more open border with the U.S.: border-jurisdiction politicians and chambers of commerce, the tourism industry, families cut off from each other for the better part of two years. A de-facto surcharge of roughly $150 for a PCR test on return to Canada was a serious impediment to travel, nicely illustrated by a recent Toronto Maple Leafs game in Buffalo, N.Y.: In normal times, the 11,000 or so seats left empty by forlorn Sabres fans would have been filled by day-tripping Canadians festooned in blue and white. But there is another large constituency, of course, that looks askance at any lessening of restrictions.

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