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P.E.I. RCMP says no evidence of stowaways coming across Confederation Bridge after investigating complaint

Cars wait in line at the COVID-19 checkpoint shortly after it was set up at the Confederation Bridge in Borden-Carleton earlier this week. All visitors to P.E.I. who are not considered essential workers are being stopped and screened for symptoms as they arrive in the province. Dr. Heather Morrison, chief public health officer for P.E.I., reminded Islanders Friday that anyone travelling across the Confederation Bridge should be doing so only out of necessity. She said examples of necessary travel include medical appointments, compassionate travel and truckers and other travellers carrying goods and services to P.E.I. For more from Morrison's briefing Friday, see A3.
Cars wait in line at the COVID-19 checkpoint shortly after it was set up at the Confederation Bridge in Borden-Carleton in this file photo. East Prince RCMP confirmed that police did receive a complaint several weeks ago about people being smuggled across the bridge in the back of a truck, but found no evidence to support the allegation. - SaltWire file photo


After investigating a complaint about stowaways coming to P.E.I., the RCMP has confirmed it didn’t happen.

East Prince RCMP Cpl. Nick Doyle said the police did receive a complaint several weeks ago about people being smuggled across the bridge in the back of a truck.

The RCMP investigated the complaint, which included information about a specific truck, Doyle said.

“We were able to track down some video, and it did not support those allegations at all.”

Last week, Justice Minister Bloyce Thompson was asked during a coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing about the possibility of stowaways coming to the Island in trucks.

Justice Minister Bloyce Thompson
Justice Minister Bloyce Thompson

Tight border controls are in place because of the coronavirus, and only certain people are allowed to enter the province, such as essential workers.

Thompson said there have been two investigations into incidents of reported stowaways in trucks travelling across the Confederation Bridge.

He didn’t provide a timeline for when the alleged incidents happened.

“There is an investigation that is going on, on a couple of incidents. But they are still under investigation,” Thompson said on May 12.

Doyle said he was only aware of one complaint.

During another coronavirus briefing last week, Premier Dennis King spoke about the possibility of stowaways, saying information that gets passed on sometimes is based on rumours while others would be based on facts.

“I don’t think we have any more information other than what minister Thompson shared yesterday,” King said.

He also said that over the last eight or nine weeks there have been numerous incidents raised on social media and other places that turned out to be inaccurate.

“Not saying that is the case in this regard, but the isolated incidents that the minister is looking into, I will make sure he passes on more information as it becomes available.”

The Guardian asked to interview Thompson about his comments, but that request was denied.

“The minister is not available for an interview on this but rest assured, as both premier and he said, these complaints would certainly be followed up upon,” a department spokeswoman said.

The Guardian also asked where Thompson received information that there were two incidents being investigated and who was investigating them but did not receive a response to those questions.

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