PEI

Snowbird who was turned away at Confederation Bridge arrives on P.E.I.

A P.E.I. snowbird who was turned away at the Confederation Bridge earlier this week has arrived in the province after two days of being in limbo.

‘It's great to be home’

Barry Humberstone has spent the last six months in Florida with his American girlfriend, Michelle Williamson. (Submitted by Michelle Williamson)

A P.E.I. snowbird who was turned away at the Confederation Bridge earlier this week has arrived in the province after two days of being in limbo.

Barry Humberstone has owned a home in Northport, P.E.I., for less than a year, after moving there from Georgetown, Ont., but had spent the last six months in Florida with his American girlfriend. 

After days of driving, Humberstone arrived in P.E.I. around 2 p.m. Thursday.

"It's great to be home," said Humberstone when CBC News reached him Thursday evening.

"Next is now I have to wait to get my girlfriend to Canada."

Humberstone was turned away at the bridge on Tuesday because he was told he did not have the proper documentation to prove he was an Island resident. 

He said he has a truck at his Island home that is registered on P.E.I. He showed officials that, as well as the taxes he paid last year on his P.E.I. property, he said, but was still turned away.

"They told me that my house was a summer home and that I didn't live here full time and that I had Ontario plates," Humberstone said.

He started driving to Ontario, but was still working to be granted permission to come to P.E.I. over the phone throughout his journey. 

On Thursday afternoon, P.E.I. declared a state of emergency in order to enhance controls and screening at points of entry to the province, including the Confederation Bridge.

'They knew I was coming'

In the meantime, Humberstone's journey had taken him all the way to Kingston, Ont., before he was told he would be able to return to P.E.I. He said he immediately turned around to make his way back to the Island, stopping near Quebec City where he hit a snowstorm and had to sleep in his car. 

"There was no problem with the Quebec police and there was no problem at the bridge. They knew I was coming," he said.

Humberstone lives with his partner in Florida for half the year and said his P.E.I. home is his residence in Canada.

Individuals who are returning to the Island are now being asked to contact officials in advance by phone or email at publicsafety@gov.pe.ca or 902-894-0385.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Nicole Williams and Sara Fraser

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