Families Complain Rankin’s Last-Minute Border Change ‘Extremely Demoralizing’

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The last-minute pronouncement of amended quarantine requirements for individuals coming from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia has many Maritimers deeply angry and disappointed.

Steve MacKay’s family organized to travel from Halifax to New Brunswick this weekend to honor his grandmother’s 80th birthday. He stated the extended family had not congregated since December 2019 and since then, his young son had grown four inches taller.

“It’s frustrating to have it be announced so soon to the border opening,” MacKay noted. “I mean, everything’s changing all the time. What’s going on?”

In Amherst, N.S., Kaili Pipes claimed the changes were “crushing” and the short notice is “infuriating.”

Her in-laws live just ten minutes from the border; however, she hasn’t seen them in eight months. Both her and her husband intended to finally visit on Tuesday night and then return for work on Wednesday morning as the border opened. She stated they can’t afford to break from work to self-isolate.

Having no access to family is heartbreaking, she noted, however, when they had relocated to live close to their families, they never thought a provincial border could be closed for so long.

Pipes said, “I believe that Premier Rankin needs to take a few minutes to understand how directly this has impacted Cumberland [County].

‘Angry and sad’

Zachary Tingley who lives in Amherst hasn’t seen family in Riverview, N.B., from November. With the promise of the bubble reopening on June 23, he went back to visit them a few days earlier. His wife and toddler were to join them on Tuesday afternoon; however, they won’t be coming and he’ll have to quarantine on return.

“I think angry and sad would be would be my initial reaction.”

Tingley agrees with his MLA, Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, who wanted a blockade of the TransCanada Highway close to the Cobequid Pass in objection of the restrictions.

“I think it’s important because all along Smith-McCrossin has been advocating for inter-provincial cooperation,” Tingley noted, “And unfortunately, the premiers have not been listening.”

On Wednesday, Sarah Reicker of Halifax wanted to hit the road at six a.m. to see her sibling and parents for the first time in nearly a year.

She claimed the announcement was “extremely demoralizing.”

“I just felt my heart immediately sink,” Reicker stated. “This has happened a few times where they say, yes, things are going to open up, and then the situation just changes so rapidly.”

She noted while she is exceedingly sad, she understands she’s not the only one missing her family.

“People are missing each other from all over Canada, all over the world. So, I know it’s not uniquely affecting me, but it was pretty depressing today.”

‘Shaking our heads and wondering’

Carmella Facchin’s husband is working in Ontario and they are yet to see each other in six months.

“You know, Atlantic Canada,” Carmella Facchin stated. “We’re all so close to our families. It’s affecting people mentally and physically and emotionally.”

Facchin has not seen her adult children for a whole year, while her sister in New Brunswick hasn’t laid eyes on their parents in ten months. She is troubled with what she views as inconsistent decisions around the border issue.

“You’re playing with people’s emotions. You’re playing with people’s lives,” she declared.

“I guess I’m just like everyone else in Nova Scotia,” Facchin noted. “We’re just all shaking our heads and wondering what’s next. You made a promise now for June 30. Let’s see what happens on June 30.”

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