TV commercials highlight devastation caused by Canada-U.S. Border closure, $ 23,000 raised to fight back
DERBY LINE – A retired Florida businessman has taken the initiative to stand up for border communities that have seen businesses shut down and families torn apart since the Canada-U.S. Border closed more than a year ago.
Last week, John Adams started buying TV commercials in the United States to highlight the impact of the border closure on families, businesses and landowners like him.
He says he defends places like Derby Line, Vermont and Stanstead, Quebec, a place where binational families and couples could normally cross the border by car to see each other within 5 minutes.
With the land border closed to what the Biden administration called “non-essential travel,” family reunification for border families turned into a 9-hour trip that included an international flight. Quite simply to cross a border literally in their backyard.
The fact that the Biden administration has declared sports teams essential and therefore able to cross the land border without a problem is even more frustrating for border families, while in some cases family members with dying loved ones have been turned away. .
“Visiting friends and family is not essential,” reads the latest Customs and Border Protection statement regarding the border closure. “In addition, as professional sports teams begin to resume their activities, the movement of athletes through land entry points to participate in sporting events is considered essential.”
Adams says he’s also defending places like Erie County, New York, where the loss of Canadian businesses has cost between $ 665 million and $ 855 million.
The tourism industry in western New York alone has seen 20,000 people lose their jobs, mainly due to restrictions on Canadian visitors crossing the land border.
Over the past year, politicians have offered little more than lip service to border communities.
Here in Vermont, the Congressional delegation blamed the Trump administration for the situation ahead of the election. Now, they are mostly silent and offer messages of sympathy each month when the shutdown is extended.
Adams says he has mobilized to fight back. He has spent a total of $ 2,700 on TV commercials so far.
The money bought 153 ads that ran in Buffalo, Detroit and western Washington.
The publicity the commercials brought earned him interviews on several local and national TV stations, where he was able to highlight the pain and anger of those most affected.
“Not allowing me to go to my home in Canada where I pay taxes is a mistake,” Adams said. “Not to allow a couple who are engaged where the guy lives here, and the girl lives there, not to see each other, that’s immoral, and it has to stop.”
Adams says he won’t stop running the ads until the border reopens.
His next move is to run the ads in Canada. Next week, he plans to start running ads in Toronto and Ottawa.
The move has already created a buzz in Canada, where CTV ran an article over the weekend with the headline “American-style attack ads aim to pressure Trudeau to reopen border.”
The advertisements tell the story of the devastation caused by the border closure and are far from an attack style.
After raising over $ 23,000 through a GoFundMe campaignAdams says he’s ready to run a lot of ads in the North. Some of the markets it plans to advertise in will cost significantly more than in the United States.
He jokes that the only way Canadian politicians won’t see his ads is to cover their eyes.
“I’m going to be in Ottawa like the fog,” Adams said.
Adams says he believes we’ll see a gradual reopening process at the border starting June 21, but his message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is clear.
“You can do it easily, or you can do it the hard way,” he said.
He is pushing for separated families and homeowners to be allowed to cross before the next June 21 deadline.
In an interview with Newport Dispatch on Friday, Adams discussed some of the long-term effects this border fiasco will have on communities like Derby Line.
“I think in Canada these policies have created animosity and even hatred towards the United States, but at least it looks like it’s improving somewhat.
He says he believes those feelings will last long after the border reopens and that the economic impact will be felt for a long time.
“Some of the businesses that have closed will never reopen. For those who do, it will take years for them to recover. “
Adams believes that when we look back and recognize the impact this has had on the mental health and local economies of border communities, it should make it nearly impossible to repeat in the future.
“If we don’t learn valuable lessons from this hellish and horrific experience we have had, we will have missed an opportunity. I think they’re going to look back and say, ‘Wow, that was a big mess, and we’re never going to do it again. ” We’ll see what happens.”
To help John Adams flood the airwaves with a simple message, it’s time to open the border, reunite separated families, and jumpstart the economy in border communities, CLICK HERE to donate to his GoFundMe campaign. The money raised will be used to pay for TV commercials to pressure President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau to stop talking and take action.