Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Support quality journalism
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24weeks
The Globe and Mail
Support quality journalism
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Globe and Mail website displayed on various devices
Just$1.99
per week
for the first 24weeks

var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){console.log("scroll");var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1);

A CBSA officer checks vehicles entering into Canada at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border, in Surrey, B.C., on March 20, 2020.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/The Canadian Press

More than a million people headed home to Canada last week as other countries gradually closed their borders over concerns about the spreading coronavirus.

According to figures released Monday by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), 959,600 Canadian citizens and 43,890 permanent residents returned to the country between March 14 and 20.

CBSA said 529,407 Canadians and 23,615 permanent residents flew in, while 428,724 Canadians and 20,243 permanent residents returned by land.

Story continues below advertisement

Another 1,469 Canadians and 32 permanent residents arrived by sea.

The agency could not immediately say how many Canadians and permanent residents typically cross the border at this time of the year.

The federal government has scrambled in recent days to help Canadians stranded overseas in countries affected by lockdowns and air-space restrictions due to COVID-19.

“People should be returning by commercial means while they’re still available,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

“If you are a Canadian abroad, register with the government now so we can send you updates and contact you. You need to do this if you haven’t done it already.”

Mr. Trudeau said Ottawa has negotiated authorization for a number of flights to ferry back Canadian nationals this week. These include:

  • Three Air Canada flights to bring Canadians back from Peru;
  • Two Air Canada flights to Morocco;
  • Two Air Transat flights to Honduras;
  • One Air Canada flight to Spain;
  • And one Air Transat flight each to Ecuador, El Salvador and Guatemala.

“This is probably the largest repatriation effort in Canada’s history in peacetime,” Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne told the CBC’s The Current Monday morning.

Story continues below advertisement

He said his department has received close to 10,000 calls and 14,000 e-mails from stranded Canadians in the last 48 hours.

But he reiterated Mr. Trudeau’s previous warning that Canada won’t be able to repatriate every citizen who is stuck abroad. “We’ll support them locally … we’ll do our utmost to support them wherever they might be."

The spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 continues, with more cases diagnosed in Canada. The Globe offers the dos and don'ts to help slow or stop the spread of the virus in your community.

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters.

In the interests of public health and safety, our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access. However, The Globe depends on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe to globeandmail.com. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

Your subscription helps The Globe and Mail provide readers with critical news at a critical time. Thank you for your continued support. We also hope you will share important coronavirus news articles with your friends and family. In the interest of public health and safety, all our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies