by Jayna Smith
The border with Canada has been closed since March of 2020 for all but essential travel. Falling under the category of essential includes media, an important means for citizens to obtain information about safety and welfare, as well as other critical information.
For one local businessman, Pierre Little, owner of The Calais Advertiser and Machias Valley News Observer, and NB Free Press, the regular cross into St. Stephen from Calais was not allowed, despite proper credentials and a U.S.-issued vaccination card.
On Friday, May 28, Little attempted to cross into Canada from Calais at Ferry Point Bridge, something he has done many times during the pandemic.
He said, “I was refused entry because I didn’t have a PCR test so my vaccination card from the U.S. was not even considered or even looked at.”
A PCR test is a polymerase chain reaction test used to detect genetic material from viruses. The test will detect the presence of a virus if one is infected at the time of the test.
“It’s too bad that as a Canadian citizen, fully vaccinated for over a month and a half now...I was required to go into an “internment” hotel...get the PCR test and pay for the hotel accommodations for my own internment for up to seven days and then after my PCR test is negative, I could return for the remainder of the 14 days to my home in Moncton. It is terrible how the Canadian Government is treating its own citizens.” Little shared.
Instead, he opted to return to his property in Calais and the U.S. Border guards welcomed him back and even commented that others have also chosen to return to the U.S. after their vaccination records were not being accepted because they insisted on only a negative PCR test.
“I think it’s unfair that the federal government and the Higgs government in New Brunswick are treating people this way, especially those who are fully vaccinated and are Canadian citizens.”