LOCAL NEWS – DECEMBER 17, 2020: Will there be changes made to the Labrador border entry requirements?
CFBS was contacted this afternoon by some concerned citizens asking to clarify rumours that there would be changes taking place tonight at the border checkpoint for Blanc-Sablon/L'anse au Clair border. These rumours seem to stem from concerns that changes may take place following the Quebec government's decision to have the North Shore territory enter an orange zone alert level, despite the low case numbers, as this change signals more measures within the region that target specific sectors of activity and settings where the risk of transmission is deemed higher. The sectors and settings in orange zones are subject to selective restrictions, prohibitions and closures. At this time, the goal of moving all of the provinces yellow zones to orange, and orange zones to red, is for prevention to curb the spread of the virus.
The border check point at Blanc-Sablon/L'anse au Clair border was re-instated on November 26 by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The entry point for Southern Labrador border is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture officials. The purpose is to monitor traffic at the border. In an email exchange between CFBS and Newfoundland and Labrador's Premier, Andrew Furey's office back in November, it was stated that the decision at that time to re-instate the check point was based on information the government had received from Quebec Public Health.
CFBS was speaking this afternoon with Chad Letto, the Mayor of L'anse au Clair and Chair Person for the Combined Councils of Labrador. Mr. Letto said that he did have a conversation with Lisa Powell-Dempster, MHA for Cartwright/L'Anse au Clair at the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, about if there may be any possible border changes for L'anse au Clair/Blanc-Sablon following the alert level changes happening on the Quebec side. During this conversation, she confirmed that Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the chief medical officer of health for Newfoundland and Labrador, has said that there will be no border changes for the Blanc-Sablon/L'anse au Clair border at this time from their government.
Speaking as well this afternoon with Wanda Beaudoin, Mayor of the Municipality of Blanc-Sablon, she stated that she is not aware of any changes being made to the Blanc-Sablon border at this time from the Quebec government.
Important to note however, is that all details for the region with the new orange zone restrictions have not yet been made clear. More directives from Public Health may be given to the region in the next days regarding the new alert level.