Dozens of truckers left waiting in N.B. for border protest to end

·2 min read
Gary Stein is one of nearly 100 transport-truck drivers halted at the border. Stein is transporting vehicles from Ontario to Nova Scotia. (Shane Magee/CBC News - image credit)
Gary Stein is one of nearly 100 transport-truck drivers halted at the border. Stein is transporting vehicles from Ontario to Nova Scotia. (Shane Magee/CBC News - image credit)

More than 100 tractor-trailers were parked in Aulac along the Trans-Canada Highway, exit ramps and side roads near the provincial border between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as a protest continued into a second day Wednesday.

Truck drivers were left sleeping in their vehicles, some in trucks that don't have bunks, waiting for updates.

Gary Stein is transporting privately owned vehicles from Ontario to Nova Scotia, some for people who have moved east. He had to stop in Aulac around 11 p.m. Tuesday after making deliveries in Prince Edward Island.

"I have people who have flown into Halifax and self-isolated for 14 days and now they're waiting for their vehicles, and I can't deliver them today," Stein said.

Shane Fowler/CBC
Shane Fowler/CBC

Several other truckers said they were already late to make pickups or deliveries in Nova Scotia.

Stein said any of the trucks with refrigeration trailers could be carrying perishable goods such as food destined for Nova Scotia or Newfoundland and Labrador.

"I think people have a right to protest, but I don't think people have a right to put everybody in jeopardy and what they're doing is putting everyone's lives in jeopardy," Stein said of the protest.

The protest was sparked by new isolation rules for New Brunswickers travelling to Nova Scotia announced by the Nova Scotia government only hours before restrictions were expected to be lifted.

Nova Scotia announced all travellers from New Brunswick must continue to isolate upon arrival, with variations based on vaccination status, but there will be fewer restrictions for Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island travellers.

A protest initially began on the highway near Oxford, N.S., about 50 kilometres east of the provincial border. Another protest also began Tuesday evening at the border that has continued since then.

Shane Fowler/CBC
Shane Fowler/CBC

Only a few vehicles made it through the border over several hours on Wednesday, including about a dozen vehicles escorted from Aulac to the border by RCMP. An ambulance from New Brunswick also was able to cross.

Earlier in the day, it took about an hour to move through the traffic backed up in the eastbound lane to get to the Aulac exit.

RCMP officers were stopping vehicles, asking where they were going, and telling people to turn around if they said Nova Scotia.

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