Except during summer months the only way Campobello residents can travel to the rest of Canada is through the United States. After 911, such travel became difficult at best. With heightened American border security concerns, it has become even more difficult.

From the end of June to roughly Labor Day, direct travel from Campobello to Deer Island, New Brunswick, is available courtesy of East Coast Ferries, owned and operated by Stan Lord of Deer Island. Lord also operates service between Eastport and Deer Island.

But the rest of the year island residents must drive through Maine to reach Canada, and that means Customs stops.

Eric Allaby, provincial Member of the Legislative Assembly for Fundy Isles, believes that the only solution for Campobello residents is a “year-round, self-propelled ferry” that can stand up to winter weather. And he’s asking the federal government for help.

Furthermore, he believes that the rights of Campobello residents are being violated.

In a letter dated May 25th to Greg Thompson, Member of Parliament for New Brunswick Southwest, Allaby wrote, “The border situation is becoming increasingly onerous for people along either side of the border, and the people of Campobello are increasingly isolated from their own country by the increasing difficulties encountered at the border.”

He continued, “Normally transportation within a province is under provincial jurisdiction, but the travel to Campobello necessitates travel through a foreign country. Inasmuch as the New Brunswick Department of Transportation pays half the maintenance cost on the bridge to Lubec, they fulfill their obligations.”

Allaby added, “The problem for Campobello is not the road, it is the border and the border is a matter of federal jurisdiction.”

Allaby cited Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which, under “Mobility Rights” states that “every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.”

Allaby took note of “a proposal…for assistance to subsidize a year-round ferry service from Deer Island to Campobello. This would require a self-propelled craft to deal with winter winds,” which would cost “between $1.2 and $1.4 million [Canadian],” with operating costs between $800,000 and $900,000 per year.

In Allaby’s view, the biggest problem Campobello residents face at the border is uncertainty. “Some days it goes pretty smoothly. Other days not so smoothly. You never know what to expect. And the prospect of having to have passports will aggravate an already serious problem.”

He also says that the border has a negative impact on league sports teams. “With the border difficulties Campobello teams are becoming isolated, as are the residents. It’s the equivalent of being ostracized and the people are losing out.”