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Protest over N.B.-N.S. border restrictions shuts down part of Trans-Canada Highway

·2 min read
The protest at Highway 104 has shut down traffic in both directions. (Pat Callaghan/CBC - image credit)
The protest at Highway 104 has shut down traffic in both directions. (Pat Callaghan/CBC - image credit)

Part of Nova Scotia's Trans-Canada Highway has been shut down because of a protest over border restrictions announced Tuesday by the provincial government.

All four lanes at Exit 7 on Highway 104 of the Cobequid Pass — about 50 kilometres from the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border — are closed and detours are in place, the Transportation Department tweeted.

As of 10:40 p.m. AT, RCMP were still on the scene and the detours remained in effect.

RCMP said earlier in the day that traffic was being diverted through Exit 7 onto Highway 4. The RCMP asked people to avoid the area and drive cautiously if they are in the area.

It was announced Tuesday that travellers from New Brunswick will continue to have to self-isolate upon arrival, even after Nova Scotia opens its borders with P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador without isolation or testing requirements starting Wednesday.

New Brunswick opened its borders to Canadian travellers from outside the Atlantic region last week without the requirement they self-isolate, provided they have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. It is the only Atlantic Canadian province to do so.

"Because of New Brunswick's approach to visitors from the rest of Canada, we need to maintain some protection when people enter Nova Scotia from that province," Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin said in a news release.

MLA issues threat

In a Facebook video Tuesday afternoon, PC MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, who represents Cumberland North, threatened to close the Trans-Canada Highway in protest.

"If you do not change your mind and allow the people of Cumberland and New Brunswick to see one another without self-isolating, the Trans-Canada Highway will be shut down, and it will be shut down until you open that border for the families of Cumberland," she said.

At Nova Scotia's COVID-19 briefing Tuesday afternoon, Rankin didn't explain why he waited until the day before the border changes come into effect for Atlantic Canada to announce the tougher restrictions for New Brunswick.

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