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Manitoba camp owner looks forward to border opening Aug. 9

Because of the uncertainties surrounding the opening of the Canadian border, Bill Kolansky isn’t making any bets on exactly how many American campers will arrive at Crowduck Lake Camp on Aug. 9 and in succeeding days.

Manitoba sign logo.jpg Herald photo
A sign welcomes northbound travelers at the visitor center on the Canada side of the Manitoba-North Dakota border. Forum News Service file photo
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GRAND FORKS — When the Canada border opens on Monday, Aug. 9, Manitoba fishing camp owner Bill Kolansky hopes to renew friendships with U.S. campers he hasn’t seen in more than a year.

During the past 17 months, Kolansky has rented his cabins to Canadians because his American guests have not been able to cross the border to stay at Crowduck Lake Camp in Whiteshell Provincial Park, about 220 miles northeast of Grand Forks, North Dakota. The Canada-U.S. border has been closed to nonessential travel since March 21, 2020, when the two countries restricted crossings to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Kolansky's business has felt the effect, he said.

“Most of my business is (customers) in the United States. Some of these American clients have been coming to this camp, maintaining their week for 48 consecutive years,” Kolansky said.

Crowduck Lake Camp offers boats, motors and other fishing equipment and lodging. Most anglers book the camp in advance of fishing season.

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While Americans ages 13 and older can cross the border into Canada beginning Monday, some restrictions will still be in place. For example, fully vaccinated Americans will need to provide proof of a negative molecular test for COVID-19, taken within 72 hours of arriving at a land crossing or a flight departure. American travelers also will be required to upload vaccination proof, through a Canadian government smartphone application called ArriveCan . Unvaccinated children 12 and younger can cross the border without a vaccination if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian who is vaccinated.

Americans returning to the United States from Canada will need a passport or enhanced driver's license.

A potential wrinkle in the plan for Americans to travel to Canada is an expected strike by more than 9,000 Canadian Border Services Agency workers. A strike might not stop Americans from crossing the border into Canada, but it could delay the process.

Though Canada will open its borders to American travelers, the United States will continue to restrict Canadian travelers. Those restrictions are scheduled to expire at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21, unless they are amended or rescinded before that date. The Biden administration also could extend the restrictions.

Some of the Americans who had reservations for Crowduck Lake Camp contacted Kolansky after the announcement that the Canada border will open and told him they will be coming to the camp, Kolansky said.

However, the requirements Americans must follow to travel to Canada, and concern about an increase in COVID-19 delta variant cases, has resulted in a few of them reconsidering and then canceling the reservations, Kolansky said. Others plan to keep their reservations.

“We’ve probably got about three-quarters of the people who had reserved coming up,” he said

Because of the uncertainties surrounding the opening of the Canadian border, Kolansky isn’t making any bets on exactly how many American visitors actually will arrive at Crowduck Lake Camp Monday and in the days that follow.

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“Whoever has a reservation and whoever can make it across the border,” he said.

  • North Dakota ports of entry hours are: Pembina and Dunseith, 24 hours a day, seven days a week; Walhalla, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week; Maida and Hannah, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week; and St. John and Neche, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
  • Minnesota ports of entry hours are: Baudette, Roseau and Warroad, 24 hours, seven days a week; Lancaster, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week; and Pinecreek, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

Border flags.PNG
Photo/ Brad Dokken, Grand Forks Herald

Border flags.PNG
Photo/ Brad Dokken, Grand Forks Herald

Ann is a journalism veteran with nearly 40 years of reporting and editing experiences on a variety of topics including agriculture and business. Story ideas or questions can be sent to Ann by email at: abailey@agweek.com or phone at: 218-779-8093.
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