David and Julie Kaplan with their children Estelle and Justin. (Special to The News)

David and Julie Kaplan with their children Estelle and Justin. (Special to The News)

COVID-19 border closure stops B.C. family’s cross-country move

Maple Ridge couple, two kids, turned away at New Brunswick border

Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 border closure has shut out a Maple Ridge family that was in the process of moving to their new home in the province.

David and Julie Kaplan were driving across the country, but were stopped at the New Brunswick border. That province informed them Nova Scotia’s border is closed, and turned them back.

The family of four is camping in Quebec, hoping to cut through pandemic-created red tape.

“They were exhausted, and to be turned away was very emotional,” said David’s sister Belinda Kaplan, who started appealing to the media for help from her home in Maple Ridge.

The Kaplans’ story has been in the television news in Atlantic Canada, and David said he is now cautiously hopeful that a resolution is in sight.

“But we’re still waiting, and haven’t heard anything,” he said on Tuesday morning. “And we have no guarantees.”

The family was looking for a fresh start in the Maritimes, where Julie’s family lives, and sold their home in Maple Ridge to buy a two-acre property in Windsor Forks, N.S., about 40 minutes from Halifax.

When they left their home on May 2, the public health orders stated they could still get into the province, based on the closing date of their property purchase.

“The day we left, Nova Scotia was going to let us in,” said David.

READ ALSO: Why Atlantic Canada excels at slowing the spread of COVID-19

However, as the pandemic took hold of the province, and case counts reached record highs, the border restrictions tightened. Nobody is allowed to enter the province until at least the end of the month, with few exceptions.

The border was closed at 8 a.m. Monday.

The Kaplans had been travelling at an admittedly leisurely pace, moving across the nation with Justin and Estelle, aged six and four, and the family dog.

“Moving, at the best of times, is quite stressful, much less moving across the country,” said David.

They have a cargo trailer full of their most valued possessions, and a travel trailer to sleep in. When they heard the new restrictions were coming, they got their caravan moving, putting in some long days of travelling over 1,000 km each, but still just missed the open border. At the New Brunswick border, officials were inflexible.

“They wouldn’t even look at my documentation,” said David.

READ ALSO: All of B.C. will eventually ease out of COVID-19 restrictions at same time: Henry

But he sent an email asking the Nova Scotia government for a compassionate exemption. They called their realtor, their new MLA and a variety of other potential advocates, and it seems they may get passage. Their appeal has been given unofficial approval.

He is keeping the family comfortable in a campground near the New Brunswick border, and expecting some digital permit documents that will get them both through New Brunswick and into their new home province.

“We’re very hopeful. I think things will be resolved. It’s just a matter of time,” he said. “We need to be able to get home.”


Have a story tip? Email: ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusMaple Ridge

Just Posted

Taylor Bachrach, NDP MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley addresses Parliament on June 7, in call for the federal government to stop fighting Indigenous children in court and to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action. (Image: supplied from Facebook)
NDP motion calling for immediate reconciliation action passes

Skeena-Bulkley MP Taylor Bachrach addresses federal Parliament

Coho is one of many fish species that will benefit from a project to assess fish passage in the Falls River Watershed and offer options for improved connectivity and habitat restoration. The project will be delivered with funding from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program announced on June 8. (Photo: supplied by FWCP, istock, M.Haring)
More than $2.1 million for Northcoast fish and wildlife projects

Falls River Watershed SE of Prince Rupert to have fish passage and habitat study

UFAWU-Unifor stated on June 8 that there is no evidence of commercial fishing fleet overfishing for salmon. A salmon being weighed in Prince Rupert during the correct season in 2020. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
UFAWU-Unifor responds to DFO’s Pacific Salmon Strategy Initiative

Union states there is no evidence of overfishing in the commercial fleet

Ocean Wise’s cetacean photogrammetry research program uses aerial images collected by boat-launched drones to measure the body condition of whales and assess their health and nutritional status. (Ocean Wise Marine Mammal License MML-18 photo)
LNG Canada commits $750K to Ocean Wise

New three-year initiative expands whale research, conservation and education programs in the north west

Loki, a young bald eagle is seen in recovery after being found hanging from power lines on just her second day of independence, last July. Equipped with a GPS, Loki has made a home in Prince Rupert with Hancock Wildlife Foundation asking for help in photographing her. (Photo: Hancock Wildlife Foundation)
Looking for Loki, the new Prince Rupert local

Hancock Wildlife Foundation is asking the public for help

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read