NB-NS border remains closed due to protests over isolation requirements – .

NB-NS border remains closed due to protests over isolation requirements – .

Traffic came to a standstill on a section of Nova Scotia’s Trans-Canada Highway Wednesday morning as people continue to protest border restrictions which mean New Brunswick travelers must continue to isolate themselves at their home. arrived in Nova Scotia.
Paul MacDougall of Halifax has been stranded in his car since Tuesday night and queuing to enter Nova Scotia.

“I am extremely exhausted. I have no food or water, ”he told CBC. Halifax Morning Information.

“I tried to sleep through the night just in the front seat here, I just take a nap when I can. But it’s hard to do because I’m just worried… the traffic will start to move and I might miss my chance to get out of here. ”

The Nova Scotia government announced Tuesday afternoon that travelers to New Brunswick will continue to have to self-isolate upon arrival, a decision made less than 24 hours before Nova Scotia opened its borders with the ‘Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador without isolation or testing requirements.

People traveling from New Brunswick – including Nova Scotians returning from that province – can enter Nova Scotia for any reason, but will have isolation and testing requirements depending on their immunization status.

New Brunswick was originally included in plans to reopen Nova Scotia on Wednesday for Atlantic travelers, announced just over a week ago. The last-minute overthrow of Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin angered many in the Maritimes who eagerly expected to be able to freely cross the border between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Rankin said the decision was prompted by New Brunswick opening its borders to Canadian travelers from outside the Atlantic region last week without the requirement to self-isolate, provided that ‘they have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. It is the only province in Atlantic Canada to do so.

In response to Rankin’s announcement, people started demonstrating in the Amherst area, a Nova Scotia town near the border, shortly before 5 p.m. Brunswick border – were closed for the remainder of the evening.

This section then reopened, but the border itself was closed before midnight and protesters gathered there on Wednesday morning.

The RCMP were stationed at the border overnight. Cpl. Chris Marshall said that beyond the blockade of the highway, no law had been broken but that “a significant number of people” were protesting on both sides of the border.

He said the force was bringing in additional resources and planned to continue dialogue with the protesters.

“To see if we can’t get these people basically, at the very least, even off the freeway so that we can reopen it.” So we can continue the dialogue with them to determine what they are looking for, ”he said.

“Unfortunately, it’s not a quick process and it’s not an easy process. There is a fine line that we have to walk where people have a charter right to protest, to assemble peacefully… It’s all about trying to resolve the issue peacefully. “

Police remained at the border Wednesday morning. (Jonathan Villeneuve / Radio-Canada)

MacDougall had gone to New Brunswick for work earlier this week, expecting to be able to return home around midnight Tuesday without any restrictions. By the time he heard about the new rules that would require him to self-isolate, it was too late to come back before they went into effect.

He decided to go home anyway to begin his isolation, but once he reached the border she was blocked by vehicles.

“A big crowd of people lined up the cars crossing the road and yeah, and it was just kind of a shock,” he said.

Shortly after arriving at around 11 p.m., an RCMP officer showed up to see if MacDougall wanted to turn around.

“I just thought it would be cleared up in no time. So I said, no, I’m just going to sit here and sit down and hold on tight, ”he said.

He said he could understand people’s frustrations, but described the wait to enter as “tortuous”.

For hours MacDougall could see the “Welcome to Nova Scotia” sign at the border, but traffic stood still. Three vehicles preceded him.

Following the border closure, the Nova Scotia Health Authority advises that the Cumberland Regional Health Care Center only provides essential services as health care workers living in New Brunswick cannot get to work.

Amherst is considering comfort centers

David Kogon, the mayor of Amherst, said Information morning the city was ready to open comfort centers so those stranded could use the toilets and obtain food, if it was determined that such help was needed.

“The roadblocks on the highway have shown that there are a significant number of people who are really, really angry that the Atlantic bubble that has been promised to them is not showing,” he said.

“Families have been separated for months and months and months and waited for this to finally end today. And then at the last minute, the 11th hour, that it collapses? Extremely, extremely disappointing. “

He said he wanted the governments of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to jointly develop a plan so that everyone “feels treated equally and fairly.”

“It is the fact that they are not collaborating and working together to develop a plan that is acceptable to both provinces. That’s what disappoints me, ”Kogon said. “We want to see a resolution. “



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