Prince Edward Islands decision to allow entry to seasonal residents will most likely put the kibosh on plans for a possible tourism travel bubble between P.E.I. and New Brunswick.
P.E.I. Premier Dennis King said at a press conference on May 21 that Canadian seasonal residents may apply to travel to the island starting June 1. While an approximate 2,300 Canadians are considered eligible for approval, an estimated 1,200 international seasonal residents will not be able to apply this time.
“This allows us to be open to our seasonal island residents, which is the very nature of who we are as Islanders. But we also have to protect and monitor the risk, which is why this process will be closely monitored to protect the well-being of all Islanders,” King said.
But Kings decision may set back the discussions to build a travel bubble between the two provinces, which have had lower COVID-19 infection rates, and came as a surprise to New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs.
“I was surprised about the June 1 for [seasonal residents from] all provinces with property in P.E.I.,” Higgs said in an interview with CTV Atlantic. “We were thinking wed be a few weeks out from that, but in light of what Premier King has announced, people will be travelling through our province, we have to work out the protocols to allow that, because thats his decision.”
A travel bubble allows the residents who have not travelled for two weeks, are not infected with COVID-19, and have not been in contact with others who tested positive for the disease to travel freely within the countries or regions participating in the bubble.
All 27 P.E.I. residents who had tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered, and the province has not announced new cases of infection since May 6. Similarly, as of May 21, of the 121 confirmed cases in New Brunswick, 120 patients have recovered.
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Dozens killed in suspected jihadist attack in Niger
Dozens of people were killed in an attack in Niger on Saturday, in a suspected jihadist attack.
The attack took place around 12:00 CET in the Tchomo-Bangou village in Tillabéri, a western region bordering Mali.
“The assailants surrounded the village and killed up to 50 people,” a local radio journalist said anonymously. “The wounded have been evacuated to the hospital in Ouallam.”
It came on the day provisional results for the first round of the presidential election, held on December 27, were released.
Mohamed Bazoum, the candidate for the ruling Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) and a former interior minister, is in the lead with 39.3 per cent of the votes. Bazoum has vowed to strengthen the country’s fight against Islamist groups.
The second round of the election is to be held on February 21.
Niger has been a target for jihadist attacks for years, particularly in the western and southeastern parts of the country.
On December 21, six days before the presidential poll, seven soldiers were killed in Tillabéri. In May 2020, twenty people, including children, were also killed in two of the region’s villages.
Niger votes in presidential and legislative elections
People in Niger began voting in the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday.
Mohamed Bazoum, the right-hand man of outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou is the favourite to win.
The sixty-year-old former interior minister is aiming for outright victory in the first round — something that no candidate has done before.
He’s focussing on security and education.
Over 7 million people are eligible to vote. But some voters, like Gambina Moumouni, simply want a president they can trust.
“We pray to Allah to choose us the president who has the most mercy for the people, a president who will not betray the country and who will not betray the trust of the people, that is our wish. It is also our wish that Allah may help to make the poor, the peasants, the (cattle) breeders happy.
Thirty candidates are standing including two former presidents and two former prime ministers, but according to seasoned observers in the region, the poll is arousing little enthusiasm among the population.
Niger is the world’s poorest according to the UN’s Human Development Index and also one of those hardest hit by climate change.
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