Phased plan should get economy moving

Opinion

To the Editor:

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to May 11, Nova Scotia has identified 1,018 positive cases which has resulted in 48 deaths (42 of them at Northwood), 767 recoveries and 204 active cases outstanding (of which Northwood has 174 and two other nursing homes have one each). This leaves 28 cases outstanding and in quarantine in the rest of the province.

Over the last few weeks very few cases have been positive outside of Northwood which demonstrates that Nova Scotians have heeded the advice of Dr. Strang and Premier McNeil. They have stayed home and exercised safe distancing. While New Brunswick and PEI have announced plans to reopen their economies, Nova Scotia has not been as forthcoming or as transparent in what the plans are for reopening. One thing that I recall Premier McNeil stating is that parts of the province will not reopen until the entire province reopens.

With the exception of Northwood, which is a situation that deserves a public inquiry when this pandemic is behind us, the health authorities appear to have the situation under control. To that end I would like to suggest to the authorities a phased plan to get things moving in the Maritimes.

Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have a natural barrier to COVID-19 that has been used very effectively to date, particularly by New Brunswick — the US border and the Quebec border have been closed to non-essential travel for almost two months now, and the airports and ferries are being closely monitored. If NS, NB and PEI could meet and come to agreement on a common plan to reopen the economies of all three provinces 1.8 million people would be able to begin the process of getting back to normal to the benefit of every business entity in the region.

Ira MacInnis

Halifax