French islands off coast of Newfoundland ask to join Atlantic bubble
SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- There are less than two weeks to go until the Atlantic bubble is expected to be back and residents can again travel between provincial borders without needing to self-isolate.
But there's another place pitching for a place in the bubble -- and for their international border to reopen.
"The request to join the Atlantic bubble has come from the president of St. Pierre and Miquelon, said Chris Sheppard, the executive director of theLegendary Coasts of Eastern Newfoundland. "They put a request to their liaison between St. Pierre and Miquelon and France to ask this."
St. Pierre and Miquelon are islands just off of the coast of Newfoundland that still belong to France. A 90-minute ferry ride from the small community of Fortune takes you to Europe.
"When you go there it's the French language, the architecture, the money is all in Euros, the food is all French," Sheppard said.
Travel experts say including the island in the bubble could mean a welcome boost in tourism.
"Tourism is a big part of their economy, so I can see why they like every Atlantic province is expressing interest in having tourists come and visit," Gary Howard of CAA Atlantic.
But, it's a decision, Newfoundland says, that comes down to the federal government.
"It's a border between Canada and France and not a border between Canada the rest of the Atlantic provinces," said Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey. "It certainly depends. We would hope they made that decision based on public health and epidemiology."
Still, there's hope that this new bubble can expand internationally.