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Barrieau Denied Entry To P.E.I.

Published: June 5, 2020 2:02 pm ET

Last Comment: June 10, 2020 2:50 pm ET | 7 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Racing has returned to the Charlottetown Driving Park but one of the leading horsemen finds himself stuck in New Brunswick for the time being.

Two-time O’Brien Award winner Gilles Barrieau is a regular on the Island circuit since 2013 but returns to his home base in Saint John, N.B.,for the winter months. Barrieau had made the decision that this would be his last winter in Saint John and would move permanently to P.E.I. with wife Kelly in 2020 before the current pandemic hit.

He waited patiently for some movement in restrictions then sent in his application in early May to come over with his stable a few weeks later on May 28.

“I sent my application in a few weeks ago,” Barrieau said from Saint John. “So on the form you have to put the day you want to come across. So I had last Thursday at 4:00 P.M. I waited and didn’t hear a thing then I just heard back last Thursday that I was denied. Harness racing wasn’t essential. I already sent all my horses over thinking I was fine. Anyway I did everything I was supposed to do and still got denied.”

Barrieau had hired commercial trucker Chuckie Symes to take seven of his horses to Randy Van Meer’s farm in Mount Herbert, where Barrieau usually bases from in the summer, with them leaving last week. With pacing mare Sodwana Bay already on the Island with Barrieau’s staff, that meant eight horses on P.E.I. with just two rookie Maritime-bred colts left in Saint John. When he was getting ready to leave with the last two was when he received word his application was denied for the time being.

“I was going to get right over there and stay put,” Barrieau said. “I knew I wouldn’t be allowed back to Saint John so I stripped the barn down and everything. There is barely anything left here. I had people that were going to drop off groceries. I’d just like to get my 14 days in then I could start going to work. If things had of gone my way I would have had a week in by now. It’s just a waiting game.”

(Guardian / Nick Oakes)

June 10, 2020 - 2:50 pmSpot on Will! It's not should

Gord Brown SAID...

Spot on Will! It's not should it happen. It's when.

June 9, 2020 - 5:05 pmBorn and raised in P.E.I.

Born and raised in P.E.I. here... Went away in 2006 to live out a dream of calling horse races and have returned almost every summer to spend those months with family & friends. Not this time - I was denied as well... I'll look forward to getting back 'home' again someday - guess we'll aim for Christmas now.

Happy 87th Birthday Mom! Wish I could be there...

June 8, 2020 - 11:01 amIt is unfortunate that places

Will Yamakva SAID...

It is unfortunate that places are empty, but that is what happens when something like this happens. If we look at things from a money standpoint versus a health standpoint, are we willing to accept responsibility for those that die should the second wave of the virus attack people? You had a chance to stop it, but were more worried about money.

I agree with the comment earlier about it being good that everyone has to wait their number. Hopefully he has a good season when he is finally allowed.

P.S. To correct a comment earlier, PEI does not have the lowest cases in Canada - Nunavut has had zero

June 7, 2020 - 2:26 pmMr. Barrieau should not have

Wayne Hill SAID...

Mr. Barrieau should not have been denied entry to PEI. The maritime provinces has shut off travel from the rest of Canada and it may keep the covid-19 case count low but at what cost. A vaccine may be available next year, it may not be available for 10 years, who knows. On the island every hotel and motel is empty, Cavendish is a ghost town. How long can any economy survive operating this way. The government cannot pass out money forever. Gilles had a plan to self isolate. Both provinces have a low case count. There was no reason to deny him entry.

June 7, 2020 - 12:46 pmI know things have changed,

Tom Colpitts SAID...

I know things have changed, but it seems funny I have neighbors that are not from the Island and have found loopholes to get here. Gilles has stated in the past that his move would be to become a full-time resident and has several horses here that require his attention even if it's from a distance for a couple of weeks. The rules are still being bent and if you fudge the answers a little it seems that out-of-province people are already here and are arriving every day. And for your information, out-of-province cottage owners do not pay double property taxes but it is more than 50% more.

June 7, 2020 - 10:36 amIn reference to Mr. Clarke's

Errol Mills SAID...

In reference to Mr. Clarke's comments it is safe for PEI to not let Gilles in or any other outsider, but if seasonal Maritimers are going to pass a submitted test to get in and pay double land taxes then I would say just because Mr. Barrieau is staying at someone's residence should not be a reason for denial. I can name a few trainers and drivers that were in Florida just in the past few weeks that are now back at the CDP.

June 5, 2020 - 8:47 pmI am glad to see the rules

I am glad to see the rules apply to everyone, not just a chosen few. This is the way the world is today and Gilles you will have to wait till your number is called. Just look at the way PEI has handled the whole COVID-19 thus having the fewest cases in the country. Hang in their, Gilles, your time will come soon, but I think the right decision was made.


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