N.B. seeks special access to Nova Scotia for New Brunswickers who are vaccinated
New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs said he's made a proposal to Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin that he thinks could lead to more relaxed travel rules for people travelling from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia.
Higgs said New Brunswick has a similar percentage of its population that is vaccinated and similarly low case numbers, so he doesn't think there should be a major concern about New Brunswickers, but he does understand why Nova Scotia is concerned about travellers from other provinces.
"I know he's in a difficult position but we've got to get this border thing sorted out," Higgs told CTV Anchor Steve Murphy in an interview on Wednesday evening. "We are similarly vaccinated between Nova Scotia, New Brunswick P.E.I. and Newfoundland. We can open the border, we can open a bubble for all of our citizens with Atlantic Canada, but the ones coming from other parts of the country, we can treat them the way that we want to in our respective provinces."
Higgs hopes the proposal that he has made to Rankin will smooth things over.
"I think that was a bit of a learning curve because there was a belief that we changed something at our borders and we didn't," Higgs said. "We're doing the same thing we've been doing from the beginning. We still maintain our border with Quebec and we're stopping every car where we analyze where people are going, whether those go through P.E.I. or Newfoundland."
Higgs said he has offered to share all of this information with Nova Scotia.
"I said (Wednesday) that we record all this information we've been doing it for 16 months, we can share with you, who's coming to your province and you can decide how you want them to be tested or impacted once they arrive, and that would cover that."
Higgs said New Brunswick has already shared this information in the past, and is willing to continue sharing it.
Nova Scotia chose to place restrictions on people travelling from New Brunswick because it decided to open its border to the rest of Canada. Nova Scotia was concerned about higher case counts in other provinces west of New Brunswick.
Higgs said this arrangement would allow people who live in New Brunswick to travel more freely, while closely monitoring the people who travel through New Brunswick from points west.
"If you want to test them at your border, you can do that, you want them to isolate based on your rules, you can do that," Higgs said. "That is entirely your decision. But to go the next level and say beyond that, we need to do something differently for all New Brunswick citizens and therefore we can open the bubble otherwise, you know, I think that's that's kind of going a bit overboard."
You can watch the full interview here.