People with Ontario licence plates getting rude welcome from presumptuous Maritimers
MONCTON, N.B. -- Two people who have been "plate-shamed" for their Ontario licence plates are speaking out about the backlash they have received from Maritimers.
In two separate cases, Ontario licence plates have been questioned in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, and the tone of the response comes as a shock to those who are used to the warm Atlantic Canadian welcome.
Laurie Stewart, a councillor in the village of Petitcodiac, N.B., was enjoying a coffee in Salisbury on Monday.
He was parked in his son's rental car, which had Ontario licence plates, when he was approached by another vehicle.
"They also had their windows down and slowed down and started hollering at me to 'go home!" and it wasn't just 'go home,' it wasn't nice words at all, and had their fingers out the windows," Stewart said.
Stewart says the resistance against plates outside the Atlantic bubble was a shock to him -- and not the welcoming Maritime behaviour he's used to.
"They didn't stop and ask why I was here," Stewart said.
There was a similar scenario on Prince Edward Island, where one woman from Ontario is staying at her cottage on the island.
After her 14-day isolation period, she went grocery shopping, where she was asked a series of screening questions, including if she had been outside of Atlantic Canada in the last two weeks to which she replied no and finished her shopping.
"As I was leaving, the security guard talked to me, he asked me whether or not that was my car, he pointed to my car with the Ontario plates, and I said, 'Yes' and he then asked me how long I had been in P.E.I. for," said Ontario resident Beverly Carlaw.
Carlaw says she felt she was being questioned a second time because of her plates.
She says she felt it was unwelcoming behaviour and what she calls "not good for tourism."
"It's the suspicion," she said. "It's the notion of the 'other' of the person who 'doesn't belong' that comes out very clearly, and that's not how one identifies P.E.I."
Many say they are feeling self-conscious driving around with licence plates from provinces outside the Atlantic bubble.