Covid-19 Separates Two Towns: Maine Is Homesick for Canada

Covid-19 Separates Two Towns: Maine Is Homesick for Canada

Residents living near the river dividing Madawaska, Maine, from Canada say the international border has long been more concept than barrier. People crossed the 100-year-old bridge to Edmundston, New Brunswick, easily each day to shop, visit family and head to work.

But a year after Covid-19 caused tight travel restrictions, the border remains a major impediment to these remote, interwoven communities and many others like them. Canadians are no longer streaming into Maine for cheaper American goods like gasoline and milk. And families that straddle the border have been cut off.

“We’re both suffering,” said Gary Picard, the appointed town manager in Madawaska, regarding his community and its Canadian neighbor.

Madawaska, population about 3,700, sits atop Maine along the Saint John River. The nearest of Maine’s larger cities, Bangor, is 200 miles south. Under normal times, residents can walk into Edmundston, home to about 16,000.

Source: WSJ – US News

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