Travel barriers continue to cause issues for residents of New Brunswick's Campobello Island
ST. STEPHEN, N.B. -- Residents of New Brunswick’s Campobello Island are running into yet another roadblock when driving through the United States to reach mainland, N.B., with a new requirement to register their travel information through the Federal Government’s new ArriveCAN app.
“It’s an added hoop for an Island that has already been forced to jump through so many hoops,” says Justin Tinker, chair of the Campobello year-round ferry committee.
Currently, the only year-round link from the island to the mainland is the international bridge, which allows residents to drive into and then through the state of Maine to the land border in St. Stephen.
It was already a complicated trip which has been made even more complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think a lot of residents were really surprised to hear about it, right as they were entering into Canada,” says Campobello mayor Brett Newman. “There have been residents in the community who I think were issued fines, however, there’s been some work to make sure they don’t continue to happen.”
Right now, there are travel exemptions in place for Campobello residents who are asymptomatic and have to cross the border on a day-to-day basis for work and to get essential goods and services.
Residents who travel into the U.S. already have to register their travel with the N.B. travel registration program and meet the requirements of the Canada Border Services Agency. ‘
But now residents are being asked to provide some of the same information to the ArriveCAN app, every time they cross the border to travel off the island.
“Islanders, when they do cross for essential goods and services, only need to prove the trip was essential when coming home, or else they face a two week quarantine order from the CBSA,” says Tinker.
CTV News did reach out to John Williamson, Member of Parliament representing New Brunswick Southwest, who said his office is communicating with the ministers’ office to try and extend the Campobello Island Travel Exemption to include ArriveCAN.
“We’ve been told time and time again that we’ve always been given that extra look, given our unique geographic situation,” adds Newman. “So to not really be considered before this went out on what seems more of a national security plan, it’s really quite surprising.”
Surprising and frustrating for those who call Campobello Island home.