Long lines and wait times: Concern grows at Nova Scotia – New Brunswick border

Traffic slowly trickles through the New Brunswick - Nova Scotia border as lineups start to form by mid-morning, but Saturday’s backup was nothing compared to the day before.

"Yesterday’s lineup and backlog of traffic just brought me back to July 3rd of last summer when the Atlantic Bubble opened and it was just a disaster," says Nova Scotia MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin,

Photos and videos shared on social media show the gridlock on the Trans-Canada Highway stretching for kilometre towards New Brunswick.

Adding to the pileup - an apparent vehicle fire meant traffic had to be diverted from the area late last Friday night.

"They’re not safe, clearly. There was some type of accident there late last night, which is what we’ve all feared would happen," says McCrossin.

Nova Scotia reinstated border restrictions just over a week ago, requiring New Brunswickers who are not fully vaccinated to self-isolate upon entry.

Travellers must now show proof of vaccination status when crossing, causing long lineups and longer wait times.

"We stressed over documentation. Do we have this, we have that, let’s make sure we have that...printed or on the screen or whatever the case might be," says Ivan Daigle, a New Brunswick traveller.

Smith-McCrossin, an independent MLA representing Cumberland North, says as traffic began to build, her phonebegan to buzz.

"I immediately started getting Facebook messages, phone calls, emails. People are just fed up," she says.

The border backup was resolved within a few hours and Smith-McCrossin says she contacted the area manager of transportation as well as the minister of environment about the jam.

She says the province eased border restrictions for a short period of time to help the flow of traffic.

"I was able to get a fairly immediate response. They had a meeting and they just opened everything up to get traffic flowing fairly quickly and within an hour the traffic was cleared," says Smith-McCrossin.

"And, again, I don’t want to say it was a waste of time, but we were prepared for nothing," says Daigle.

In an email to CTV News Saturday afternoon, Nova Scotia's director of communications for health and wellness and the COVID-19 response said "restrictions are being enforced and border officials do spot checks on travellers entering the province."

"All travellers must be prepared to show their vaccination and other information when asked."

But Smith-McCrossin, isn't convinced it's working the way it should be.

The people here locally know that it is not doing anything to protect the people of Nova Scotia, and it’s inconveniencing the people that live here that have to cross every day," she says.