Canadian tunnel vaccination plan rejected

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

The first question some of you might be asking right now is, wait… we had a tunnel vaccination plan? It turns out that we did, if only briefly. Michigan is sitting on a huge trove of more than half a million vaccine doses that they can’t find anyone to take. Many of them are going to reach their expiration dates in early August. Canada is in a very different situation, with a high demand for vaccines and not enough vials to go around. That gave the mayor of Windsor, Ontario an idea. He contacted the mayor of Detroit and they cooked up a plan to paint a white line across the middle of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel under the Detroit River. Canadian citizens hoping to be vaccinated would line up on their side while American pod workers would line up on our side and inject them. Unfortunately, the Canadian government got wind of the idea and shut it down before it began. (Associated Press)

The Canadian government has rejected a creative plan to have Ontario residents line up inside a U.S. border tunnel to tap into a surplus of COVID-19 vaccine held by Michigan, a mayor said.

A white stripe was painted inside the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel in the Detroit River. Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens proposed that Canadians would stand along the border while health care workers jab them.

“We’re not trying to send a man to the moon here. We’re using the infrastructure to accomplish a shared goal,” Dilkens told the Detroit Free Press. “This is a sensible, reasonable alternative to vaccines heading to the landfill.”

It turns out that it was the Canada Border Services Agency who told the mayor to give up on the idea, though their reasons seem a bit dubious. They cited “significant security implications” and possible traffic disruptions as their reasons. A separate official from the Health Canada agency also objected warning that there “could be trouble if the person giving the shot reached across the tunnel’s white line into Canada.”

But does that make any sense? First of all, what sort of security implications would be involved? Do they really think someone is going to try to sneak across the border in the middle of a crowd of medical workers, patients, and border security officials? In the middle of a tunnel? I sort of doubt Harry Houdini could have pulled that off.

As to the traffic issue, the border is closed to vehicular traffic except for commercial trucking and essential workers. The tunnel has multiple lanes. I’m sure they could leave one open to accommodate anyone who has to get through.

As far as the Health Canada objection goes, I understand that any vaccines being imported to the country have to be approved by them. But Canadians with dual citizenship have already been coming into the United States to get vaccinated and then going back home. Is this really all that different? And even if it is, it seems like the agency could just approve the vaccines. They’re already importing the same ones we are using.

This was a bit of creative thinking on the part of those two mayors, but some bureaucrats had to shut it down. And now more than 500,000 doses of vaccine will probably wind up being flushed. Way to go, Canada.

Meanwhile, the border with Canada is reportedly set to reopen by mid-August. But you’ll be needing an immunity passport if you want to visit the Great White North.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday Canada could start allowing fully vaccinated Americans into Canada as of mid-August for non-essential travel and should be in a position to welcome fully vaccinated travelers from all countries by early September.

So Canada is turning their noses up at our vaccines and plans to keep a travel ban on unvaccinated Americans even though they have plenty of unvaccinated people themselves. I wonder what ever happened to that reputation of the Canadians being so nice compared to all of these nasty Americans?