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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Canadians in Arizona flocking home as border tightens, coronavirus pandemic worsens

    Canadian snowbirds in Arizona flocking home as border tightens, coronavirus pandemic worsens

    Alison Steinbach, Arizona RepublicPublished 1:05 p.m. MT March 19, 2020 | Updated 1:23 p.m. MT March 19, 2020

    Canadians who spend winters in Arizona are scrambling back north sooner than planned as the U.S. and Canada announced a border closure to all nonessential traffic on Wednesday morning to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

    This has left snowbirds racing the clock to fly or drive home to Canada from their warm months in Arizona. Snowbirds typically arrive as early as October and return north by the end of April.


    Canadians own or rent about 100,000 homes in Arizona.


    "I want to get home. It's time," said Terri Bozok, who has wintered with her husband in Mesa for the past 11 years.


    The couple will begin the nearly 30-hour drive to their home province of Alberta on Friday. When they get there, they will self-isolate for 14 days, per Canadian regulations.


    'You will be allowed to come back home — please do so'


    President Donald Trump announced in a tweeton Wednesday that he and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were temporarily closing the border to nonessential traffic. Trade will not be affected, he said.

    Donald J. Trump

    @realDonaldTrump

    We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected. Details to follow!

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    Trudeau tweeted the same. Canadians visiting abroad will be allowed back in, but cross-border travel for tourism or recreation will not be allowed to continue.

    "If you are already visiting the US, you will be allowed to come back home — please do so," Trudeau said.

    Justin Trudeau

    @JustinTrudeau

    I spoke with @POTUS Trump this morning about what we can do to slow the spread of COVID-19. We have agreed to restrict all non-essential travel across the Canada-US border. If you are already visiting the US, you will be allowed to come back home - please do so.

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    A scramble north

    Several snowbirds told The Arizona Republic that their Canadian friends are packing up and heading home early.

    Bozok said she and her husband discussed "waiting it out" in Mesa, where at least they can ride their bikes and spend time outside. But as things escalated and began to close here and in Canada, and as they heard the advice from Trudeau, they felt it was best to be home.


    "It's just better to be at home and be around family and support each other," she said.

    Bozok also said she feels "it's our responsibility as Canadians here — because there's a lot of us here — to go home."


    She hopes that will lessen the burden on U.S. citizens and infrastructure as things progress.


    Health insurance is a concern


    Canadians get international extensions to their state-provided health care for their stays abroad so they can still use their Canadian insurance. But it's only valid for six months outside of Canada, concerning some that if the coronavirus forced them to stay in the U.S. much longer, they would be without insurance.

    Bozok said some of her friends have begun to get notices that Alberta's health care won't cover them for much longer as a way to encourage them to return home ahead of schedule.

    "Everyone's getting out," said Diane Brennan, a dual citizen who lives here year-round and has family and friends in the snowbird community. "They don't want to chance it."


    John Erik Albrechtsen and his wife returned to Winnipeg late Monday for Albrechtsen's work. They had planned to returned next week to finish the season in their north Scottsdale home, but have since canceled those flights.

    “The Canadian government now wants everybody to repatriate back to Canada," he said. "From a point of view of a health care plan and everything else, it makes sense for everybody to consolidate.”


    Albrechtsen said he thinks some of his fellow Canadians in Arizona are returning home for better health care.

    “The one thing that we in Canada have is universal health care, so a lot of people would say maybe we’re better getting home in case something did happen," he said. "At least we have good care and we’d protect ourselves financially."

    Most Canadian snowbirds in Arizona are from the western provinces such as Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, with some from Ontario in eastern Canada, Brennan said. Either way, it's several days' drive home or a flight with dwindling options.


    "We have to go home because the government is asking us to; they’re asking all residents to come home just because so much is unknown about this virus," said Audrey Runge, who's been coming to an RV park in Mesa for several months a year since she retired.


    Runge is saying goodbye to friends tonight and beginning the three-day drive to Alberta on Friday.

    "We should do our part to go home and take the precautions not to contract it or spread it around," she said.

    Runge worked in health care for more than three decades and said she's confident the system can address this. She plans to self-quarantine for "at least a week and then go from there."


    Mostly, she wants to see her grandchildren once she gets home.


    Canadians carry big impact in Arizona

    The exodus of Canadian snowbirds may contribute to Arizona's predicted upcoming recession.

    Arizona saw nearly 1 million Canadian visitors in 2018, according to the Phoenix-based Canada Arizona Business Council. Combined, they annually spend more than $1 billion.


    Canadian renters and homeowners in Arizona contribute an additional $1.4 billion annually, according to the council.


    Canadians own 97% of internationally-owned residences in greater Phoenix.


    Glenn Williamson, CEO of the Canada Arizona Business Council, said many Arizona-based Canadian businesses are eager to help governments on both sides of the border through public-private partnerships.


    “I’m hearing nothing but what can we do to pitch in and accelerate solutions to this problem," Williamson said.


    Canada is Arizona's largest foreign direct investment country. But as many snowbirds say they're heading home early, they're taking some of that economic impact with them. Fortunately for Arizona, they're only leaving a few weeks earlier than scheduled.


    Jeff McQueen, president of Shea Homes active lifestyle division, said seasonal Canadian homeowners comprise up to 20% of some of their communities. From what he's heard, they're all heading home this week if they haven't left already.


    He said it's bound to impact the local economy, as those homeowners spend money at local grocery stores, restaurants and salons. But luckily, he said, it's only a loss of about three weeks of activity — and he expects some residents to return early in the summer and fall if things are back to normal.


    “l feel bad that we have to go earlier," Runge said. "I feel bad for the economy down here. Canadians bring a lot of dollars down here."


    Runge said she's already excited to return to Arizona next year.


    “I think a year from now I'll be back down here again, hopefully, and we’ll talk about it and say, ‘Wow, remember that? Remember when we had that and what we had to do?’”

    https://www.azcentral.com/story/news...ns/2870164001/

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    A lot of them are in campers in Mexico too. Should have headed home 2 weeks ago.

    Trump needs to shut that Southern border down at midnight tonight.

    Let the Canadians and American's back and no one else.
    TO BECOME AN AMERICAN YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR VALUES ...NOT YOUR LOCATION

    STAY HOME AND BUILD AMERICA ON YOUR SOIL

  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Coronavirus: Canadians leaving Florida fearing coronavirus insurance issues

    www.news-press.com › story › news › local › 2020/03/18 › coronavir...
    2 days ago - About 250,000 Canadians visit Southwest Florida every year. Most are trying to return home by Monday night because of health insurance ...



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  4. #4
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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