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

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
‘Stay-at-home mom’ works to raise $25K to help Options build housing in Surrey

Tammy Bourelle boosts ‘Women of Options’ fundraising campaign, which ends June 30

Surrey Libraries will host a series of free contests and programs for teenagers this summer. (Malin Jordan photo)
Surrey Libraries offering series of free summer programs for teens

Writing contests, virtual programs scheduled throughout summer

Emergency crews responded to a large truck fire under the Alex Fraser Bridge around 8:20 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Christine Tobias/Twitter photo)
Dog dies in truck fire under Alex Fraser Bridge

No people were injured in blaze that consumed two semi-trucks around 8:20 p.m. on Thursday, June 17

Four Surrey students (from left) Charlize Abban from Guildford Park, Mekdim Dereje from North Surrey, Chelsea Michalik from Guildford Park and Sarah Sohail from L.A. Matheson, are some of the latest recipients of $40,000 Cmolik Foundation (Photos: surreyschools.ca)
Four Surrey students receive $40K Cmolik scholarships

Students are from Guildford Park, L.A. Matheson and North Surrey

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
Surrey ranks eighth in Top-10 list of cities of the future in the Americas

This is according to the Financial Times’ fDi Magazine, a bi-monthly publication out of London, England with a circulation of 15,488

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Camper van explosion burns Vancouver Island gas station to the ground

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. The website for a Broadway theatre showing "Springsteen on Broadway" said it would only allow guests "fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine" — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
No Springsteen for you: AstraZeneca not good enough to qualify for Broadway ticket

Victoria area mayor among those unable to attend New York entertainment due to COVID-19 restriction

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

Audrey Inouye (right) with her two sons Kiyoshi McMillan (left) and Kaito McMillian drop off her milk to hospital volunteer Sylvia Hendel at a human milk depot on October 11, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Fraser Health appeals for breast milk after unexplained drop in donations

Give your breast milk and save newborn lives, the health authority is encouraging mothers

The BC Ferries’ website is down for the second time in one week from what they say is likely an overwhelming increase in web traffic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Surging web traffic crashes BC Ferries’ site again

Website down for second time this week

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
PODCAST: John Furlong lays out a ‘provincial’ B.C. plan to host the 2030 Winter Olympics

Podcast: Chat includes potential role for Vancouver Island communities

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

Most Read