Due to the difference in “risk calculation”, the uniformity of the bursting of the Atlantic bubble

The pandemic solidarity in Atlantic Canada lasted a long time, but it was impossible to reach the finish line without staggering.

As New Brunswick opened its borders to the rest of Canada ahead of schedule, and Nova Scotia actually expelled its maritime neighbors from the Atlantic foam, the regional cohesion approach to COVID-19 broke this week.

Even if Nova Scotia softened its stance on Thursday, the incident added a touch of sourness to the lifting of pandemic restrictions that should have been optimistic or even ecstatic.

Erin Crandall, a political scientist at Arcadia University, said: “We have two provinces that are usually very integrated. direction.

“If you asked me this question a week before it happened, I would say it was incredible.”

Last week, New Brunswick Governor Blaine Higgs opened a dose of the vaccine to all Canadians, and other Atlantic provinces were willing to do the same.

He took this action on June 16 after the province had achieved the second phase of its goal of receiving a second dose of the vaccine for 20% of the population aged 65 or over.

On Thursday, on the first day of the second phase of the “Green Road” in New Brunswick, vehicles lined up at the New Brunswick-Quebec border. The plan brought new freedom to travel in the province. (Gary Moore/Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

This caused Rankin to restrict people’s travel from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia. Even two weeks after the second vaccination—in other words, with the greatest vaccine protection—people must still be isolated there until they get a negative COVID-19 test.

Rankin flinched that Thursday: New Brunswick people who received the second dose two weeks ago can now enter the province, and everyone in the province can travel to Nova Scotia without restrictions until June 30 .

Even so, given that public health officials agreed on common principles and timing during the initial Atlantic bubble last year, the 48-hour political turmoil showed that the lack of coordination is confusing.

At first glance, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are very similar in epidemiology. The number of cases in both provinces has fallen.

However, Nova Scotia lags behind New Brunswick in the second vaccination and has recently experienced a surge in cases in April and May.

Dr. Robert Strong, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer for health, said on Thursday that he believes that New Brunswick’s one-time regulations for tourists from other parts of Canada are “not enough” to stop the more contagious Delta variant.

“Dr. Russell and I disagree,” he said. “It’s all about risk calculation. This prudent approach makes us very satisfied.”

Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Strang (Robert Strang) is concerned that New Brunswick’s more permissive methods will not be able to withstand the highly spreading Coronavirus Delta variant. (Communications Nova Scotia)

Dr. Lisa Barrett, an infectious disease expert at Dalhousie University School of Medicine, said, “All science carries a number, and then a range of uncertainty — we call it the margin of error — around it.”

“Our margin of error now is very large. It depends on how people interpret this risk, which is why policy and public health decisions may be different: different goals, different results, and different risk tolerance, really .”

On Wednesday, when asked what she thought of Strang’s measures, Dr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of New Brunswick Health, avoided answering directly.

On the political front, Higgs’ office ignored any suggestion that Rankin might be surprised by opening up to the rest of Canada.

Higgs proposed the opening trigger on May 27th. His chief of staff, Louis Legge, said this week that on June 14, the governor’s office rejected Nova Scotia’s request for an extension, stating that the second phase would begin to meet the trigger conditions as soon as possible.

Higgs hinted at disharmony in a briefing this week. In a conference call with the Atlantic Chief, he said, “I kind of elaborated our path… which raises some questions.

Governor Iain Rankin speaks at the COVID-19 briefing on May 7, 2021. (Communications Nova Scotia)

“Different regions have different feelings. They have their own views on what suits them. This is good. We respect this.”

Rankin, 38, took over as prime minister in February, and Crandall said this could also explain some of the lack of coordination.

She said: “Of course the two prime ministers and their staff have no chance to establish and establish a relationship that can avoid this misunderstanding.”

She added that this incident also demonstrated the drawbacks of the so-called administrative federalism, that is, the governor and his senior staff will make major inter-provincial decisions.

“They can participate in the policy decision for the position. The policy can be implemented almost immediately. But if the few people in the room have a communication failure, the whole thing will fall apart.”

Professor Erin Crandall said that after so many months of unity between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, she was surprised by the discord over COVID-19 restrictions this week. (Acadia University)

Higgs proposed on Wednesday to share data with Nova Scotia on all travelers entering New Brunswick with Nova Scotia, which seemed to pave the way for Thursday’s resolution.

He said he did not believe that this incident would damage his ability to cooperate with Rankine in the future.

“I don’t spend time worrying about past problems, past conflicts or spilt milk. This is what you will do in the future, so we will pass.”

Crandall agreed.

“Once the Atlantic bubble opens, we should expect it to be forgotten because the problem of people’s anger has disappeared. We are talking about the difference in a few days, maybe a week. Now is not a few months away.”

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