The daughter of a New Brunswick transport truck driver has started an online petition calling on the province to give truckers like her dad more leeway under COVID-19 rules and it is gaining support.
Thirteen-year-old Lena Stiles, of Sackville, says she is taking a stand for New Brunswick truckers like her father.
“They work so hard and keep this country going,” said Lena.
Last week, she said started an online petition calling on the province to give truckers more freedom when they return home to their families.
Under new COVID-19 restrictions, drivers are expected to stay at home unless they’re getting necessities of life, according to public health regulations.
Lena said she cannot spend any time with her dad outside of home.
“I am getting lots of comments saying I hope you continue and it is a good thing,” she said.
By Wednesday morning, her petition — which her father, Adam Stiles, said she started without his knowledge — had almost 1,200 signatures.
“It broke my heart that it bothered her that much that she started this petition,” he said.
He said the new rules have been hard on him and his wife, but “definitely harder on the kids.”
“I mean, they have it tough because I am gone so much as it is anyway,” Stiles said.
Lena and her dad are asking instead that the province use its stockpile of rapid COVID-19 tests to test truckers as they drive home through the provincial border sites.
“When they are passing by they can get a test and just get a test and continue driving and check back online,” she said.
“I would enjoy to do a rapid test,” said her father.
The Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association said it also supports the use of rapid testing at the border crossings.
According to NB Public Health, it implemented a program at the end of February for all regular border crossers, including commercial truckers, to be rapidly tested at pharmacies.
“A total of 12 pharmacies are currently offering rapid testing for commercial truckers in the province,” said Public Health spokesperson Bruce Macfarlane.
But according to the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, drivers are still required to adhere to modified isolation even if they test negative.
Lena hopes her petition will lead to change and allow her to spend some time with her dad outside of their home.