Campbellton mayor urges creation of border bubble to include some of Quebec
CAMPBELLTON, N.B. -- It's the epitome of a border community.
There may be a river splitting the New Brunswick community of Campbellton and the Quebec communities of Pointe-a-la-Croix and Listuguj, but the three often operate as one, and being split apart by New Brunswick's border closure hasn't been easy.
"We need the premier to realize that everyone's serious and we've had enough," said Campbellton Mayor Stephanie Anglehart-Paulin.
She says the three communities share the hospital, schools and facilities and that businesses on her side are suffering without their neighbours.
"It would be like saying Fredericton North, 'OK, you're no longer part of Fredericton, now go to McAdam to go grocery shopping,'" said Anglehart-Paulin. "That's what they're telling these people to do, go two-and-a-half hours to go grocery shopping."
This week, Premier Blaine Higgs said he was considering opening the border to the Gaspe Peninsula, allowing those Quebec residents to come across into New Brunswick more freely.
Anglehart-Paulin says she doesn't need all of the Gaspe, just a 30-kilometre radius to include her sister communities across the river.
During an interview with CTV News, Higgs said he met with the other Atlantic premiers Thursday afternoon and will again Friday morning, but says he believes it's possible.
"We're looking at two immediate communities right now in the border region and would like to be in a position where we could elaborate on that, let's say later this week or certainly later next week," Higgs said. "We've been getting a lot of interest from the area to do so. We will expand it as we can. Right now, it will be limited, but it will certainly reflect the bulk of the concerns that we've been getting from the region."
CTV News reached out to the Nova Scotia government to ask how it feels about the idea of New Brunswick opening to a small part of Quebec. The province did not respond before time of publishing.
Anyone from Quebec can enter Nova Scotia now, but they are required to self-isolate for 14 days once they arrive.
"What are we afraid of? The bogeyman?" said Anglehart-Paulin. "At this point, there's no cases there. There's no cases here. We just want to keep our little community bubble together. We got half of our, 50 per cent of our population's across the way."
The mayor says her bridge needs to be open sooner, rather than later.