Skip to main content

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs speaks with the media in Fredericton on Feb. 17, 2020.

Stephen MacGillivray/The Canadian Press

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs says his province is hoping to create a “mini bubble” with Quebec by Aug. 1.

The bubble would allow residents who live near the Quebec-New Brunswick border to travel back and forth between the provinces without having to self-isolate for 14 days, Higgs told reporters Tuesday. Higgs said the agreement would only allow for day trips.

New Brunswick is currently part of what’s called the Atlantic bubble, which allows Atlantic Canadians to travel within the region without having to self-isolate. Higgs’ government has been in recent talks with Quebec about easing travel restrictions that were imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Story continues below advertisement

Higgs said Quebec visitors would first need to register online and would be screened at the border. He said there is a strong sense of community between Quebecers and the New Brunswick cities of Campbellton and Edmundston.

“This will be controlled,” the premier said. “It will be isolated in the region and we do rely on the integrity of individuals not to bring (COVID-19) across the border.”

Quebecers who live by the New Brunswick border would not be able to travel to other provinces in Atlantic Canada without self-isolating for two weeks. The agreement, Higgs said, doesn’t open up the rest of Quebec to New Brunswickers, either.

“We’re not there at all,” said Higgs. “And I don’t think the public in New Brunswick is there either. I do think it’s important to the northern region. I think it’s important to their social life and important to their economy.”

Campbellton Mayor Stephanie Anglehart-Paulin said many families straddle the provincial border. Cross-border travel is important to the survival of businesses in her community, she said.

She said while there are 15,000 people in her city, she considers the 7,500 people on the other side of the Restigouche River also part of her community.

The two sides are linked by the J.C Van Horne bridge. Anglehart-Paulin said the Quebec residents are used to shopping and accessing health services in Campbellton.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s been really hard,” she said Tuesday. “They’ve had to go far, and at the time that COVID was down the coast we were forcing them to go down the coast. They were scared to death and you couldn’t blame them.”

“People that we can see, 800 metres away, can’t come here. Our restaurants are hurting, everything is hurting,” she said.

Anglehart-Paulin noted that while Quebec has had the most COVID-19 cases in Canada, the majority of the infections have occurred in the more southern parts of the province. Montreal, which was the epicentre of the pandemic in Canada, is 12 hours away.

Quebec reported 180 new cases Tuesday. There have been 57,796 cases in the province including 5,658 deaths. There were no new cases in New Brunswick Tuesday. There have been 170 cases in the province, including two deaths.

The other Atlantic premiers have stated they do not want to be part of the tentative agreement between Quebec and New Brunswick.

Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King said Tuesday other provinces may choose to expand the Atlantic bubble, which he said is their jurisdictional right. “But P.E.I. for the meantime will maintain the status quo,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

There were no new cases on the Island Tuesday.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you manage your health, your finances and your family life as Canada reopens.
Visit the hub

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies