Maritime provinces not in sync as they prepare to reopen Atlantic bubble
HALIFAX -- If reopening the Atlantic Bubble is a delicate dance, it would seem provinces are stepping on each other's toes.
While the three Maritime provinces are all aiming to form an Atlantic bubble on or around the end of June or Early July, every province has different rules attached. As of Canada Day, New Brunswick also wants to open itself up to the rest of Canada and Maine for those people who have received one dose.
"If they do that then it's no longer a bubble," Rankin said. "If a province whether it's New Brunswick or any other province relaxes their border beyond that (the Atlantic bubble) then we'll have to consider that with our plans," Rankin said.
New Brunswick's Health Minister said Premier Blaine Higgs is in touch with his colleagues from other provinces on a regular basis and federal counterparts.
"I think the fact is that our vaccination rates are going up. Things are looking pretty good that way and if our neighbours are in similar positions, whether it be Quebec, Ontario, Maine then we want to have that push in order to keep our economies rolling," Minister Dorothy Shephard said.
Prince Edward Island is aiming to drop the self-isolation rule for Atlantic Canadians with one dose of the vaccine on June 27 and to all other Canadians with two doses on Aug. 8.
As of Canada Day, New Brunswick won't require Atlantic Canadians to self-isolate. It also wants to welcome in other Canadians and people from Maine who've had their first dose.
Nova Scotia hasn't set specific dates, but officials have said the best-case scenario would see phase three start by end of June or early July. That would bring back the Atlantic Bubble.
"We at this point aren't requiring vaccinations but we also know New Brunswick and P.E.I. are roughly on the same track as vaccination upticks of us," Rankin said.
Nova Scotia's phase four, which could happen by August, aims to welcome back the rest of Canada.
"We would've loved to have seen a coordinated and a consistent approach but having said that the third wave has hit each province differently," said Darlene Grant Fiander, president of Tourism Industry of Nova Scotia
Grant Fiander believes the bubble will still happen, noting how last year New Brunswick opened its borders to parts of Quebec and people coming into Nova Scotia still had to self-quarantine.
She hopes to hear a more synchronized message from the Maritime provinces soon.
"If you can imagine you're selling a package for the Maritimes or Atlantic Canada and there's different rules in different provinces, that's not a good thing right?" She said.
David Kogon, mayor of Amherst said each of the provinces have their own schedules and stipulations but also all share a common goal—which is to open safely.
He's in favour of vaccine passports.
"That's an important strategy to encourage the populace to get vaccinated," Kogon said.