Man charged after vehicle compliance officer injured at N.S.-N.B. border
HALIFAX -- A man is facing charges after a vehicle-compliance officer was injured at the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border Wednesday evening.
"Last night, Environment Department conservation officers working at the border observed an altercation between a truck driver and a TIR (Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal) employee at the scale house," said a spokesperson for the Environment Department in an email to CTV News.
"Our staff intervened, detained the assailant and called RCMP."
The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU) confirms the injured worker is a member of the NSGEU and was working alone in the gatehouse at the time of the incident.
It's believed the man, who was working on the Nova Scotia side of the border, was grabbed by the neck during a routine inspection. He is said to be doing OK and is resting at home.
"When you see vehicle compliance officers on the road, they can pull over whatever vehicle that they feel needs to be pulled over. They can do routine inspections on any type of vehicle, commercial vehicle or whatnot and, that's what he was performing last night and when he was performing that duty, the person lashed out at him," said Jason MacLean, the president of the NSGEU.
RCMP say a 50-year-old man from East Amherst, N.S., was arrested in connection with the incident and has been charged with assaulting a peace officer and breach of conditions.
He is scheduled to make an appearance in Amherst provincial court in September.
The NSGEU says it has been fighting for better protective equipment and training for vehicle compliance officers for over two years.
Currently, vehicle compliance officers in Nova Scotia only carry a radio. In other provinces, vehicle compliance officers are armed.
"We're not necessarily asking for any type of sidearm for anybody. What we're saying is, what they have currently, which is a radio in their pocket, isn't enough to keep them protected when they're alone, out in the field," said MacLean.
When asked about the NSGEU's ongoing safety concerns at the border, the Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil took aim at the union.
"To me, the union looked at every opportunity to complain, they look to divide. This union was also out about saying health-care workers are not receiving their bonuses. It's actually false and inaccurate," said McNeil.
"If there's an issue, though, with the safety of someone at our border, we take it seriously, that's why law enforcement are on."
The union continues to call for improved safety for its workers.
"We need to work together on this and safety is paramount," said MacLean.
The RCMP initially told CTV News that the worker is 53 years old and the accused is due in court in August. Police later clarified that the worker is actually 50 years old and the accused is due in court in September.