Canada

Traffic flowing freely at N.B.-N.S. border following nearly day-long blockade

Traffic was flowing across the main border crossing between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Thursday morning, after a nearly 24-hour shutdown by protesters unhappy with restrictions the Nova Scotia government placed on travellers entering from New Brunswick.

The RCMP tweeted just before 10:30 p.m. AT Wednesday that the border was open and traffic was moving freely.

At least two people were arrested by RCMP around 8 p.m. AT Wednesday, as officers lined up on the roadway to create a barrier between citizens and the highway.

People yelled in protest over the move, but most followed police orders and moved to the side of the road.

A handful of transport trucks were idling, waiting to cross from New Brunswick into Nova Scotia. Just before 9 p.m., the last of the remaining vehicles blocking the highway was removed and the trucks blew their horns as they crossed into Nova Scotia.

The mood turned light, and some protesters spoke with the RCMP officers, while others packed up and left the area.

RCMP officers move dozens of protestors to the side of the Trans-Canada Highway at the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border the evening of June 23, 2021. ( Jonathan Villeneuve/CBC)

Protesters descended on the Trans-Canada Highway on Tuesday in response to new isolation and testing rules for people travelling to Nova Scotia from New Brunswick. 

The rules were announced by Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin Tuesday, only hours before the restrictions were expected to be lifted for the Atlantic provinces, prompting anger on both sides of the border.

Rankin had a call with the Atlantic premiers Wednesday afternoon, including Premier Blaine Higgs of New Brunswick.

Rankin said during the call, Higgs shared more details on his proposal that New Brunswick provide information on travellers entering New Brunswick from outside the Atlantic provinces, so they can be tracked when they cross provincial borders.

Rankin added Dr. Robert Strang, the chief medical officer of health for Nova Scotia, was also on the call to hear more about how New Brunswick enforces their own restrictions.

"Those are positive things that Dr. Strang is considering and looking at how that may provide greater comfort to our Public Health team," Rankin told CBC Wednesday evening.

The premier would not say whether those considerations would take hours or days.

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