Screening at N.B. border 'inconsistently enforced,' says Green Party MLA
When the Atlantic bubble opened on Friday, people waited for hours to cross provincial borders.
Tens of thousands of vehicles have passed into New Brunswick since then, but Monday was a different story in terms of screening.
People entering the province may have had their required documents ready, but for many, they weren’t needed.
Information on the government’s website says all travellers will be screened at inter-provincial points of entry, but vehicle after vehicle was waved through.
"I’ve been in daily contact with folks at Public Safety and my understanding is that they were trying to improve the processes and that they would only be opening it up and letting people through in the event that the wait times were extremely long," said Megan Mitton, the MLA for Memramcook-Tantramar.
Vehicle traffic entering Nova Scotia is moving quickly. That’s not the case on the other side of the Trans-Canada highway heading to New Brunswick, where the wait is much longer.
At times, traffic was backed up as far the Nova Scotia checkpoint in Amherst.
"The rules around the border have been inconsistently enforced and unclear for months and unfortunately that seems to be carrying through to the border opening," Mitton said.
Peter MacDonald was returning from visiting family in Keswick Ridge, N.B. His information was collected when he passed through on Saturday. The biggest problem he had was accessing the necessary forms on the government of New Brunswick website.
"It would say 'click here for the form, and it would return you back to the main page of the New Brunswick Health website," MacDonald said.
Nearly 11,000 vehicles crossed into New Brunswick on Sunday.
Travel experts expect those numbers to remain steady.
"People want to travel," said Gary Howard of the Canadian Automobile Association in Saint John. "They’ve been cooped up in their home offices or offices for quite some time and travellers like to travel, so I think we’ll see a lot of activity and I think we’ll see it right into the fall."
That means long lines might be a common sight at provincial border crossings.
Howard’s advice is to check what documents each province requires for entry and to make sure you have them filled out and ready before you arrive at the border.