Two steps of interprovincial solidarity for the lifting of barriers between the Temiscouata and New Brunswick have been held.
July 15, 2020 20h56
Border closed between New Brunswick and the Temiscouata: a tradition of exchange broken
For the citizens of Témiscouata, the closure of the border, which has lasted for months with the province of New Brunswick is a non-sense. Only 14 km apart, Dégelis of the border. Since it is forbidden for Quebec to enter in the neighbouring province, the ties that have always existed between these two territories are broken. Over time, the frustration mounts.
This situation is not without consequences on families, the economy and friendships. “The Témiscouata and Madawaska, on the side of New Brunswick, has always been a place for exchanges, says the mayor of Dégelis. According to Normand Morin, people magazine traditionally in Edmundston, whereas many new Brunswickers through Dégelis because they have chalets on the edge of lake Témiscouata.
For Dégelisiens, the trading links are much more simple with Edmundston, located 20 km away, with Rivière-du-Loup, which is 80 km away. “It does not date from yesterday, recalls the chosen one. When I was young, we would go there and the reverse is true. The people of New Brunswick come here for different services, whether for the restoration or the liquor Corporation. The people of New Brunswick we provide all the commercial sector and the accommodation. It is an exchange. But this time, it is closed.” Recently, the people of a same family, however, can cross from one side to the other.
The mayor of Dégelis recalls that the Témiscouata are currently no event active COVID-19. “It has been six cases since the beginning and they are all healed. In Dégelis, we had no case and all the municipalities that border also. For the people of New Brunswick, the Temiscouata, it is like them others. There is no problem there.”
On social networks, some of the Lower-Laurentian believe that there are two weights, two measures between the two provinces. “The people of New Brunswick come here, confirms the mayor Morin. To go on the Quebec side, there is no barrier. The only drawback they have is when they return home, they must be put in quarantine.”
If new Brunswickers are not afraid of the people of Témiscouata, the same can not be said of other Quebecers. “The people of Edmundston say that the Témiscouata or even the Bas-Saint-Laurent, it is like them others,” said Mr. Morin. But, for the rest of Quebec, especially the people of the Montreal region, they fear it like the plague!”
The member of parliament for Madawaska-les-Lacs-Edmundston, Francine Landry, wants to open a bubble with the Témiscouata, such as the one created in the maritime provinces. “The prime minister Blaine Higgs has said that this was not necessary because it does not remain so long that before it’s déconfiné, reports the mayor Morin. We were talking about the 17th of July. They say that it will happen, but I have no idea how it will happen.” One thing is certain, the government of New Brunswick plans, by the end of the week, the opening of the border between Campbellton and Pointe-à-la-Croix in the Gaspé.
The mayor of Dégelis, no more than others of the elect of Témiscouata, has not exercised pressure on New Brunswick to request the removal of the traffic control. He recalls that he and other elected officials of Bas-Saint-Laurent were in favour of the closure of the Bas-Saint-Laurent to the rest of Quebec in the beginning of the pandemic, and that they had even asked the government to extend the retention of the control point that was located in La Pocatière. Therefore, Normand Morin feels in a poor position to ask for New Brunswick to lift the barrier.
Steps of interprovincial solidarity
A resident of Dégelis native of Edmundston, Fanny Beaulieu, organized two marches of solidarity, inter-provincial, which were attended by about fifty citizens, to request the lifting of barriers between the two provinces. No elected participated. “It was for the citizens, argues the mayor Morin. On the side of the elect, it was agreed that it was not participating in this event. It is not against the principle, except that I realize that if it continues for too long, it starts to have some animosity towards the people of New Brunswick.”
A resident of Edmundston, Ron Daigle, took part in the first walk on the side of New Brunswick. “I do a lot of biking,” he says. It has been five years that I go to Dégelis every day for dinner and, quite often, I give myself to Cabano. I return home at the end of the day.” Gold, for fear of having to submit a statement of offence, he was stopped crossing the border by the cycle track. “I don’t go out of the province.”
For new Brunswickers, the closure of the border between his town and Dégelis is aberrant. “In Edmundston, it is more than 100 days that we did not even have a case. In total, in the province, it was 167 cases and two deaths. I am 100 % for a bubble regional with the mask mandatory. It has lines provincial, but it is as if it was the same city, Edmundston and Dégelis. It is the family, the cousins. The world lives together. Separate the same, it has not too much logic!”