Manitoba border community faces coronavirus-related economic struggles, rising floodwaters

While communities across the country are struggling to deal with the new reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, some areas hit especially hard are those near the Canada/U.S. border, where greatly reduced traffic compared to just a few months ago is having an impact.

In the Rural Municipality of Emerson-Franklin, home to border crossings at Emerson and Tolstoi, commercial traffic continues to flow between the countries, but local reeve Dave Carlson told 680 CJOB that the lack of regular traffic has impacted the lives of local residents.

If you look at it one way, it’s quality of life,” said Carlson.

“A lot of people do take advantage of crossing the border right there, whether it’s for a bit of shopping or recreation and things like that. We even have mutual aid agreements for our emergency services, so that affects things.”

Economically, he said, businesses that typically get heavy business from American visitors — like the local duty-free shop, a big local employer — are hurting with only commercial traffic coming through.

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