St. Stephen — Canada Border Services Agency workers rallied in Shediac on Thursday, demanding better working conditions ahead of the upcoming border opening that would allow American citizens to enter Canada (although not the reverse).
Similarly, dozens of border workers in St. Stephen are fighting for one very specific goal: the ability to stop in to Marden’s for a short while.
“Do you know how frustrating it is to be living in St. Stephen, just staring over into the States, and not being able to go?” asked border agent Kimberly Bean. “That frustration is only going to be compounded once we have to start letting the damn Yankees in.”
“That’s right,” she said, assertively. “It’s a good slur. I’m bringing it back.”
At the heart of their argument is the fact that, being on the front lines of the border, they are already as susceptible to the spread of COVID as anybody. Therefore, it would make no difference if they were to be given a limited “hall-pass” to gain entrance to certain U.S. locations.
The union knows that their demands must be specific in order to be taken seriously by the federal government. That is why their president, Andrew Stough, says that they have measured out their duration.
“We only want to run into Marden’s for a few things. New vacuum cleaner, couple of shirts, you know,” he said. “So, like, 15 minutes, tops. That’s all we need.”
Stough, along with the other workers, believe that due to their proximity to the border, they’ve suffered more than anyone during this pandemic.
“You remember that old ad?” he asked, wistfully. “The one that was like, ‘I should have bought it, when I saw it, at Mar-dens’?
“If only we’d known how prescient that would prove to be,” he said, with a sad shake of the head. “If only we’d known.”