Shut down my Border? I’ll shut down your highway!
My notes for this briefing should be pretty short. Both Rankin and Strang’s opening statements were about how great Nova Scotians are doing, how we have been praised for our
compliance vaccination numbers, and that we should still live in fear because of the delta variant. The big bad delta variant that is going to come from those without 2 doses of vaccine and ruin reopening for everyone… You have been warned.
The main story from today’s briefing was the lifting of travel restrictions starting at 8am tomorrow morning. Exactly one week ago, June 15th, Rankin announced that travel within the 4 Atlantic Provinces would be open with no vaccine or quarantine requirements. However, it was announced this morning that restrictions would be in place for residents of New Brunswick. Less than 24 hours before the border was scheduled to be open, Rankin slammed the hammer down on NB with zero warning.
To be honest with you all here, my day has been spent reading news articles and comment threads about this issue. Not only did the reporters at the briefing bombard Rankin and Strang on this, but it seems as though the entirety of NS that is online has done the same. The main criticism being that Rankin knew Higgs (NB Premier) reopening plan a week ago so why wait until the last minute to declare restrictions? Rankin’s main reason was that since Higgs is opening to all of Canada, public health NS wanted to watch the epidemiology of NB and make a call when they knew what needed to be done. He has also repeatedly said he would follow whatever the public health officials advised. Even when Steve Murphey of CTV News asked what he would do about the border protest which Incase you’re internet was out today the MLA of Cumberland county, Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, has shut down the trans Canada highway in NS! After it was announced this morning that people coming to the Province from NB would have restrictions after being promised that they wouldn’t, McCrossin threatened to shut down the highway if Rankin didn’t amend the change. Well, instead of amending the change, Rankin choose to scoff the question during the briefing and even blamed the situation on another Premier’s lack of cooperation. Ironically, as he was saying this people were driving to exit 7 of HWY 104 to shut it all down. And as of writing this at 10:30 pm, they border is still shut down and they have no plans on leaving until Rankin ends the travel restrictions.
As happy as I am about the border protest, and I am in full support of this, I am concerned by the lack of coverage over the injunction. On Friday the 18th, the NS government requested that the injunction against illegal gatherings be lifted. On Saturday the 19th, *CTV news interview with Rankin in full can be found here