Hartland Covered Bridge

Hartland covered bridge pano photo d stewart

This weekend, Hartland NB is celebrating the centenary of their 1,282 foot covered bridge. That’s 1/4 mile or 391 metres. An open wooden bridge across the St. John River was completed in 1901. Twenty-one years later, a cover was added to protect the bridge and those crossing on it. And so it stands today.

From Friday to Monday, Hartland is having a birthday party for the bridge, combined with New Brunswick Day and Platinum Jubilee celebrations. There will be fireworks, a craft market on the bridge itself and lots of other stuff to do. (here’s what’s going on)

Even when it’s not party time, Hartland is well worth visiting. It’s a beautiful town, and the bridge is, well, something you won’t see anywhere else.

Crossing the bridge

My dog and I went to Hartland several years ago. We’d been in Grand Falls to see the statue of Secretariat and his jockey Ron Turcotte. Coming home on the Trans Canada Highway, we saw the turn off for Hartland. I said “wanna see a bridge?” and Leo replied “woof!”

entering Hartland NB photo d stewart

A nice meandering drive, then a view from atop a hill of a town on the river and a humungously long bridge. We drove across the bridge, turned around and drove back across. We drove back and forth across the bridge several times. Then we parked and walked along the river bank. Got back in the car and drove across the bridge for the final time.

hartland bridge entrance photo d stewart

That was all we did and it was well worth the time. There is more to do in Hartland than drive across a covered bridge. But that was enough excitement for us that day.

While you’re there or anywhere in New Brunswick and want a snack, you can pick up some Covered Bridge potato chips. Yes, they’re made in Hartland, and they’re really good.

Hartland google maps
Hartland, Hwy 2 between Florenceville-Bristol and Woodstock. Tap to enlarge.

Prescription Points

As of today, we won’t get a small rebate on prescription drug costs in New Brunswick. The NB College of Pharmacists, in their wisdom, decided it was “unethical” to give loyalty card points for prescription expenditures. NB joins BC, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, PEI and NL in this policy.

“I’m very pleased that the New Brunswick College of Pharmacists is ensuring that patients will no longer be potentially influenced by incentives and rewards in choosing their pharmacy.” – Adele Wallace, President of the New Brunswick College of Pharmacists

It doesn’t matter, I suppose, if you have a drug plan. But if you don’t, and you’re paying the whole shot yourself, that little bit of ‘cash’ back was nice. It took the cost down a bit.

It’s so people are not being steered toward one particular pharmacy, they say. So that you go for the best health-care provider rather than the one who accepts your loyalty card. Cards like Air Miles, PC Optimum and specific pharmacy cards. I think most people go to whichever pharmacy they like. Probably where their prescription lists are kept, where they feel they get good health care, and where they buy other stuff. The bonus – and that’s all it is – is points which you can use to buy that other stuff.

Cui Bono?

I knew in Ontario that you didn’t get points on prescriptions. I blamed the loyalty card companies. Why give you rewards to buy something you’ve got to buy in that store anyway? Prescription drugs aren’t something you can shop around for. So who benefits? The card programmes, I thought. Saving on pay outs to a captive market.

But I had it backwards. Pharmacist associations say the rewards mean that you might buy your prescription drugs with points in mind instead of the quality of care offered. In other words, you can’t be trusted to manage both your health needs and a rewards card. It also makes me wonder about the quality of pharmacists, and oversight of them, if their association is worried about you getting an incompetent one.

But, assuming licensed pharmacists know what they’re doing, giving reward points for prescriptions just means that you get points for those dollars spent. Now you’ll still be going to that same pharmacy, and not getting any money back on prescriptions. Their cost is usually high, and there’s no national pharmacare plan.

So in the interests of appearing neutral, pharmacists are taking away the only prescription subsidy there was. Right at a time of higher prices for everything. Who really benefits from this?