Cambridge family moving to Nova Scotia facing road blocks due to pandemic restrictions
KITCHENER -- A Cambridge family moving to Nova Scotia is being denied entry into the province due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Jacqueline Herd, Ben Hellerschmed and their three kids sold their Cambridge home and bought a new house in Nova Scotia in February.
“Looking for a better life for our kids,” Herd said. “A big push for us was the school system is open.”
The family needs to be out of their Cambridge home by May 25, but travel restrictions Nova Scotia implemented is not allowing them into the province.
“April 21st, [Nova Scotia] decided to close the borders to people who purchased and were moving to Nova Scotia,” Herd said.
According to the province, people from outside Nova Scotia can only request a Compassionate Exception to enter the province if they purchased a home showing an offer has been accepted on or before April 21 and the closing date is on or before May 20.
In a statement to CTV News, Nova Scotia’s Department of Health and Wellness said, “unfortunately, people who do not meet the criteria above or do not have an exception will be turned away. This rule is in effect until at least the end of May. It is intended to be a temporary measure, but it could be extended. We understand this change in our border policy will disrupt people’s plans. However, it is necessary to help Nova Scotia get the situation under control and to protect our people and our healthcare system.”
The family’s closing date is May 25.
“It’s insane,” Adanya Hellershmed, Herd’s daughter said.
They have applied for the Compassionate Exception three times, but haven’t heard back from the government.
Scott Fairley, a constitutional lawyer with Cambridge LLP, said restrictions like this may infringe on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but all governments are taking measures to try to contain COVID-19.
"Nova Scotia's response is in trying to deal with an unprecedented pandemic that our society has not experienced," he said.
The family said they would like to see the province grandfather in all purchases, regardless of the closing date.