St-Pierre-Miquelon looking to bubble up with Newfoundland and Labrador

·1 min read

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The government of the French overseas territory St-Pierre-Miquelon wants Canada to consider opening the international border between the islands and Newfoundland and Labrador.

President of the St-Pierre-Miquelon territorial collectivity Bernard Briand sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Wednesday asking him to consider allowing travel between the islands and the province.

Briand says it could be an important first step in the French territory's bid to join the so-called Atlantic bubble, which lets Atlantic residents travel between the four provinces without having to quarantine.

He says St-Pierre-Miquelon has reported just 24 cases of COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, and that 71 per cent of the island's 6,500 residents have received their first dose of vaccine.

The tiny collection of French islands sits about 40 kilometres off the coast of Newfoundland — about an hour and a half by ferry from the town of Fortune, N.L., on the Burin Peninsula. Canada's borders are temporarily closed to most international visitors because of the pandemic.

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey said last week there are many public health issues to consider and any decision is ultimately up to the federal government.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press