Access Denied

There is a sad reality playing out on Canadian borders as we speak. In a country where we have always been able to cross our inter-provincial borders without any questions all of a sudden, we are limited to doing so. It is sad for many reasons. Sad because the COVID-19 pandemic has been so impactful we’ve can no longer travel between provinces.. Sad because some Canadians feel our rights are being removed. Sad because people can not see the value in creating such roadblocks.

Let’s step back a few weeks. I was assigned to cover lockdowns in the Maritimes or border crossings. I went over to Elsipogtog First Nation, New Brunswick. Elsipogtog at the time was running a checkpoint into their first nations from 8pm till 6am.

The photo editors of Reuters are extremely busy with COVID-19 so a good small selection of 5-10 images was the assigned task by my editor.

I started the morning off early hoping to get some good lockdown shots. First Nations are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 as some are more prone to illness. By 530am, the checkpoint had closed up shop and decided to call it an early morning. Not what I was hoping for, but that’s just the way it is. I did find a blockade a short distance away and did happen to capture a couple of individuals by it.

After this, I had decided to go to the Nova Scotia/New Brunswick border crossing to capture some images. Of course, this required driving through the border crossings which included a screening process depending on the province however being an essential worker it was easier.

You will notice the border checkpoints are actually within the individual provinces. In both the Nova Scotia & New Brunswick cases, you are actually a kilometre within the province already prior to reaching the checkpoint. So between the Nova Scotia & New Brunswick border, there are actually around 2 kilometres between the two border checkpoints.

After snapping a few photos of the border I noticed an individual hiking along Highway 104 in Nova Scotia towards the New Brunswick border. Immediately a million questions popped into my head.

What happened next?

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