Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Nova Scotia MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin is shown in an undated handout photo.A prominent member of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative caucus has been dropped from the caucus after a Facebook post supporting a protest that closed the border between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin leadership campaign MANDATORY CREDIT

HO/The Canadian Press

A prominent member of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative party has been dropped from the caucus after she posted an angry video on Facebook supporting a protest that closed the border between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Party Leader Tim Houston issued a statement Thursday saying Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, the member of the legislature for Cumberland North, will also not be permitted to run for the party in the future.

Houston said he appreciated his colleague’s frustration over last-minute changes by the Liberals that require New Brunswickers to show proof of full vaccination and take a COVID-19 test to avoid self-isolation requirements.

Story continues below advertisement

But he also said Smith-McCrossin’s failure to accept accountability for her post showed a lack of judgment and personal responsibility.

“As colleagues for the past four years, I owed her an opportunity to explain her actions, and the efforts she took to conceal those actions from her caucus colleagues,” Huston said. “Unfortunately, Ms. Smith-McCrossin refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing and, when explicitly asked by her caucus, refused to apologize to Nova Scotians.

The protest at the border began Tuesday afternoon over objections to the travel restrictions, and ended on Wednesday evening when three participants were arrested.

Smith-McCrossin posted a video to Facebook late Tuesday afternoon telling the public that unless the Liberals changed the policy, she would join with residents of her county who had “had enough” and were “shutting down the TransCanada Highway.”

In her video, Smith-McCrossin described the testing and self-isolation rules announced by Liberal Premier Iain Rankin as a huge disappointment to people living in Cumberland County.

Rankin announced the measures after New Brunswick lifted self-isolation requirements for people travelling to the province from the rest of Canada, provided they had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Smith-McCrossin recorded a video where she said, “We’ve had enough. I’m calling on Premier Rankin to change your mind. You have until 4 p.m. today (Tuesday) and if you don’t the Trans-Canada will be shut down … by the people here of our area.”

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s going to hurt you, because you hurt us here in our border town, in our county, long enough. There’s no need for it. This is pure, pure politics,” she said.

She later went to Halifax and sat outside the office building where the premier’s office is located, demanding a meeting on behalf of her constituents.

Houston said he met with his caucus and received unanimous agreement to expel the member of the legislature after Smith-McCrossin declined to publicly apologize.

In a Facebook posting on Thursday, Smith-McCrossin said she would “never apologize” for representing her constituents.

“I am sad that I am unable to continue to serve with the party I support and believe in,” she wrote, saying she continues to believe in the principles of the Progressive Conservative party.

“I will need to take some time to reflect with my family, my constituents and my supporters on what I will do next in politics.”

Story continues below advertisement

The blockade began late Tuesday on the Trans Canada Highway near the Cobequid Pass, and was later moved to the border area with New Brunswick outside of Amherst, N.S.

It disrupted commerce and led to the cancellation of more than 100 medical appointments at an Amherst hospital before RCMP officers moved in and peacefully broke it up, arresting three people around 9 p.m. Wednesday night.

Rankin said Thursday that Smith-McCrossin had fallen below the standard expected for elected provincial politicians.

“It’s unconceivable that a member of the legislature would orchestrate so much disruption at the border,” he said, adding he would have taken the same measure against one of his own members of the legislature if they behaved in a similar way.

Smith-McCrossin entered Nova Scotia’s last Progressive Conservative leadership race, losing to Houston in the 2018 vote.

The 48-year-old is a registered nurse who operated a health care business prior to being elected to the legislature for the first time in May 2017.

Story continues below advertisement

Editor’s note: (June 28, 2021): A previous version of this story said Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin was the only woman to run in the 2018 Progressive Conservative leadership race, but in fact Julie Chaisson also ran.

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.

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

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: 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