CARLETON, Que. — Quebec Premier Francois Legault says he is optimistic an agreement can be reached to allow Quebecers living near the border with New Brunswick to cross into the Maritime province.
Legault told reporters during a stop today in the Gaspe region of eastern Quebec the two provinces are in talks almost daily, including discussions between him and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs.
He says he understands the apprehension about welcoming Quebecers in provinces that have not been hit as hard by COVID-19 but notes that Gaspe, which borders New Brunswick to the north, has had few cases.
Legault says he has sensed an openness from the New Brunswick government to create a bubble that would allow Quebecers living near the border to enter New Brunswick for shopping or visits.
Higgs said in a statement Wednesday the province is looking at various options to allow some travel into New Brunswick for those who live close to the border.
Quebecers living across the border have been lobbying for access to Campbellton in northern New Brunswick, where before the pandemic they would often go to shop and receive services.
"It is possible we could expand the bubble to include the Gaspe and other regions of Quebec," Higgs said, "but any decision will be based on an assessment of public health risks."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 16, 2020.
The Canadian Press