Nova Scotia resident Debbie Braun was ready to return to Alberta. But the government has other plans.
The 65 year old, making the wise choice to flee the east for freer ground in Wildrose Country, had recently sold her Amherst, NS home, and had been making arrangements to move back to High River, just south of Calgary.
Then along came the pandemic, and with it, the irrational pandemic rules and a police force drunk on the power given to them by health orders that have increasingly less to do with health than they do with control.
The movers came on Wednesday to pick up Braun’s belongings for the crosscountry journey. The closing date on Braun’s new Alberta home was scheduled. Her flight — initially booked with WestJet from Halifax but cancelled at the last minute because of COVID-19 restrictions — was rebooked on the same airline out of Moncton, New Brunswick for Sunday.
Braun’s daughter showed up to take her to the airport in the neighbouring province to catch her flight Sunday morning. Everything was in order. That is, until the two women hit the provincial border.
According to the Chronicle Herald:
“It didn't even dawn on us that we’d have a problem,” Braun said. “We knew we would have to answer some questions but figured everything would be fine. But it wasn’t.”
Braun was surprised at the attitude of the officers staffing the border. She said the man who questioned her was pleasant at first but became “very rude” upon learning her purpose for being in New Brunswick. She didn’t know what to say at first. She showed the officers her boarding pass to prove she had a one-way ticket and her daughter said she was dropping her mother off and immediately returning to Amherst.
“I was trying to impress on them the fact my flight is leaving in two hours, what am I going to do?” she said. “I was shocked and so was my daughter.”
After being denied, she said, their vehicle was escorted to the border like they were criminals.
Braun said she checked the New Brunswick government’s website on Monday and found information saying people travelling through the province to another destination are free to pass through. She also called the COVID-19 telephone number in New Brunswick to explain what happened and was told they have never heard of such an occurrence before and promised to look into it.
Meanwhile, she had to get on the phone to try to book another flight with WestJet through Halifax on Friday, but for an additional $300 after already paying $475.
It’s also frustrating because she was going to spend some time with her 87-year-old father in Calgary until her new home was ready, while providing some respite to her family members who have been caring for him as he recovers from surgery.”
Besides being out the $300 to rebook the already rebooked flight for a later date, Braun says she also missed the closing date on her new home, but she is now working with her Alberta based realtor to rectify the problem. Homeless for now, Braun is staying with her daughter until she can get to her new home out west.
As of March 24, New Brunswick has no new cases of coronavirus, and a total of 121 cases since the disease hit with just one active case, diagnosed May 21.