Due to protests against the quarantine requirements, the NB-NS border remains closed


On Wednesday morning, traffic on a section of the Nova Scotia Trans-Canada Highway remained stagnant because people continued to protest border restrictions, which means that travelers from New Brunswick must continue to self-determine after arriving in Nova Scotia. isolation.

Since Tuesday night, Paul McDougall of Halifax has been trapped in his car, waiting in line to enter Nova Scotia.

“I am very tired. I have no food, no water,” he told CBC Information Morning News Halifax.

“I have been trying to sleep in the front seat here all night and take a nap whenever I have time. But it is difficult to do because I am just worried… the traffic will start to flow and I might miss my chance to leave here. .”

The Nova Scotia government announced on Tuesday afternoon, Passengers from New Brunswick still need to self-quarantine after arrivalThe decision was made less than 24 hours before Nova Scotia opened its borders with PEI and Newfoundland and Labrador without isolation or testing requirements.

People departing from New Brunswick—including Nova Scotia returning from the province—can enter Nova Scotia for any reason, but will be quarantined and tested based on their vaccination status.

New Brunswick was initially included in Nova Scotia’s plan to reopen for travelers from the Atlantic region on Wednesday, which was announced more than a week ago. The last-minute reversal by the governor of Nova Scotia, Iain Rankin, angered many people in the maritime region, who were eagerly looking forward to freely crossing the border between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Rankin said the decision was facilitated by the province of New Brunswick. Open borders to Canadian tourists They came from outside the Atlantic region last week, but they are not required to self-isolate, provided they have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. It is the only Atlantic Canadian province to do so.

In response to Rankin’s announcement, people began protesting all four lanes of Cobequid Pass 104 highway exit 7 in the Nova Scotia town of Amherst, near the border, shortly before 5 p.m.—distance from Xins The Corsjo-New About 50 km Brunswick border-closed for the rest of the night.

The section later reopened, but the border itself closed before midnight, and protesters gathered there on Wednesday morning.

The RCMP stationed at the border overnight. Captain. Chris Marshall said that apart from blocking the highway, no laws were violated, but “a considerable number of people” protested on both sides of the border.

He said the force is increasing its resources and plans to continue dialogue with the protesters.

“See if we can’t let these people essentially, at least, even leave the highway so that we can reopen it. So we can continue to talk to them to determine what they are looking for,” he said.

“Unfortunately, this is not a quick process, nor is it an easy process. Where people have the right to protest and peaceful assembly protected by the Charter, we must walk a fine line… All these are issues that peaceful efforts to resolve. thing.”

On Wednesday morning, the police were still at the border. (Jonathan Villeneuve/Radio Canada)

MacDougall went to work in New Brunswick earlier this week and is expected to drive home without any restrictions around midnight on Tuesday. When he heard about the new rules that required him to self-isolate, it was too late to come back before they took effect.

He decided to drive home anyway to start self-isolation, but once he reached the border, he was blocked by a vehicle.

“A large group of people lined up with cars crossing the road, yes, it was a bit shocking,” he said.

Soon after he arrived around 11pm, a RCMP checked whether McDougall wanted to turn around.

“I just thought it would be resolved in a short time. So I said, no, I just sit here and sit still,” he said.

He said he could understand people’s frustrations, but he described waiting to enter as “painful”.

A few hours later, McDougall could see the “Welcome to Nova Scotia” sign at the border, but traffic remained stagnant. Three cars are in front of him.

Due to the border closure, the Nova Scotia Department of Health recommended that the Cumberland Regional Health Care Center only provide basic services because health care workers living in New Brunswick cannot go to work.

Amherst Consider Comfort Center

Amherst Mayor David Kogon told Information Morning The town is preparing to open a comfort center so that those who are trapped can use the restroom facilities and get some food, if such assistance is determined to be needed.

“The blockade on the highway shows that quite a few people are very, very angry that their promised Atlantic bubble did not appear,” he said.

“The family has been divided for months, months, and months, and hope that today is finally over. Then at the last minute, the 11th hour, it shattered? Very, very disappointing.”

He said he hopes that the governments of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will jointly develop a plan that will make everyone “feel equal and fair treatment.”

“In fact, they did not cooperate and jointly develop a plan acceptable to both provinces. This is disappointing to me,” Kogon said. “We want to see a solution.”

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