Canadian Border Services Agency Osoyoos port of entry. (File photo)

Osoyoos mayor supports border closure despite economic uncertainty

Mayor: “We need to be more sensible and we need to protect each other and we need to stay home.”

The Town of Osoyoos is facing potential economic trouble following the closure of the U.S. / Canada border due to COVID-19.

The town is a 15 minute drive from Oroville, WA and sees travellers from the U.S. and Canada frequently cross the border for tourism, goods and services.

READ MORE: Border between Canada and U.S. likely to close Friday night: Trudeau

However, the town’s mayor, Sue McKortoff says she is “quite happy” that the border will close to all non-essential travel.

In fact, McKortoff would have liked to see the border close even sooner than it did to protect the people of her town. Washington state has the second most COVID-19 cases of all American states with 1,187 as of March 19, however no cases have been recorded in the county that borders Osoyoos.

Osoyoos residents often drive to the U.S. to purchase cheaper gas and groceries, but McKortoff doesn’t see the need to cross the border in these times.

“We need to protect the businesses in this town. We need to shop locally. We need to support the people in our town that support us,” said McKortoff.

The mayor says she hasn’t heard the reactions from any Osoyoos residents yet, but she believes that town will be able to support itself without relying on tourism from the U.S. that usually starts to pick up around this time of year.

McKortoff says she doesn’t think there are any cases currently in the town but she stressed it is imperative it doesn’t spread there and, for the most part, she’s been impressed with the initiative she’s seen from locals.

“I think in this day and age we need to be more sensible and we need to protect each other and we need to stay home,” McKortoff said.

“We’ve had people volunteer to go out pick-up groceries for people or do chores for them, we had a retired nurse volunteer her time at the South Okanagan Hospital, I’ve been phoning my older friends to make sure they are OK.

“Those are the kind of things we want people to do and so far people have been quite accepting of it.”

READ MORE: Elderly Penticton couple reflect on leaving Philippines, entering self-quarantine

@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kamloops holds Black Lives Matter rally despite cancellation of protest

Organizers announced cancellation of the event after receiving criticism on social media

In photos: Modified, yet traditional graduation gives Penticton graduates a sense of normalcy

Students around Penticton take part in pre-recorded graduation ceremonies

Penticton RCMP arrest man found ‘unlawfully in home’

Police are asking anyone with information to contact them

‘It’s about equality’ says Penticton man rallying for Black Lives Matter

“Canada is not exempt from racism and oppression,” said Geoff Stathers, standing with his #BLM sign

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Helicopter, dogs used in North Okanagan highway arrest

Revelstoke, North Okanagan RCMP team up to nab Alberta man, stolen BMW

Undisclosed video evidence comes to light in West Kelowna murder trial

‘They’ve disclosed hundreds of pieces of evidence. Why would this have gotten missed?’ - defence lawyer

Vernon Walmart staffer finds $7K lost by Enderby business owner

Entrepreneur elated after Walmart worker, who lost his own business to COVID, returned lost deposit

Summerland council to continue online meetings

Virtual meetings remain to comply with COVID-19 restrictions

Shuswap man hosting concert in his driveway

Lamenting the loss of Music in the Park events due to COVID-19, Shane McMahon is putting on a show

Refugee family assists former hosts in effort to stop rising water of Shuswap Lake

Alahmad family spend morning filling sandbags to help protect residences

Summerland not considering allowing alcohol in public spaces

Penticton and North Vancouver have both passed bylaws to relax alcohol consumption rules

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Most Read