A mix of joy and frustration for separated families as Canada lifts border restrictions


Some families with loved ones in Canada and the US are overjoyed by Ottawa’s decision to lift border restrictions because they can reunite. Beneath that joy, however, lies the deep frustration that has built up over the past few years and the fact that US borders are still technically closed to unvaccinated foreigners means that the battle is only half the battle. I have the feeling that I have not won.

In an email to The Epoch Times, Vera Post said, “I’m in tears as I write this because I realize I can actually hug my husband for the first time in two years.” It shouldn’t have happened.”

Other individuals in a similar situation to the Post spoke with the Epoch Times about an article published in August about Canadians affected by travel vaccine mandates. I heard your thoughts on the cancellation.

The federal government wants its travel vaccine mandate to be “world-leading” and one of the “strongest” in the world, according to court documents in a lawsuit challenging the mandate. However, this policy has caused many people to miss funerals and other important life moments, and has separated binational families.

With the lifting of vaccine mandates and other restrictions at the border beginning October 1, I will finally be able to see my American husband, whom I haven’t seen since November 2020, The Post says. Oklahoma to Ontario once you have the necessary funds.

The end of restrictions means travelers can enter Canada regardless of their citizenship or vaccination status. Unvaccinated individuals entering the country will no longer be required to quarantine for 14 days and the ArriveCan system will be voluntary.

‘The United States must follow suit’

Christine Dougherty is a US citizen and Canadian permanent resident living in Ontario, across from Buffalo, New York.

Epoch Times photo
During a press conference in Ottawa on September 26, 2022, Transport Minister Omar Al-Ghabra heard Howard Nujo, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer of Public Health Agency of Canada, via videoconference. The federal minister said all COVID-19 border restrictions will end on October 1, including mandatory vaccinations, testing and quarantine for international travelers, and mandatory masks on planes and trains. (Adrian Wilde/Canadian Press)

As a U.S. citizen, she could enter her country without issue at any time, but the 14-day quarantine rule made returning home problematic. Dougherty says she missed the birth and death of her binational family.

“As a U.S. citizen, I am thrilled, but I know how it feels to be forgotten, so I will never forget a family member who is still separated,” she says.

She is currently making plans to visit her sister in Buffalo as soon as restrictions are lifted on October 1st.

“You will cry when you cross the Bridge of Peace,” says Dougherty. Soon she will be two years old and will be able to meet the great niece she has never met.

“This is a win for families across the border and a long way to go, but the United States must follow suit and allow unvaccinated Canadians to enter the United States.”

“complex feeling”

“Today’s announcement brings a mixture of relief and frustration to our family,” said B.C.’s Eric Chambers, referring to the government’s Sept. 26 announcement of the lifting of restrictions. say.

He hopes that the lawsuits filed against travel obligations will continue to progress so that there is “accountability for the damage these restrictions have caused to so many families.”

A federal court hearing on September 21 heard the Attorney General’s motion to declare the lawsuit null and void because the country’s vaccination requirements were lifted on June 20.

Epoch Times photo
A person holding the smartphone set as the startup screen of the ArriveCan app over a file photo. (Canadian Press/Giordano Ciampini)

Applicants challenging the mandate say the federal government has only “suspended” the action and wants the courts to decide whether it violates charter rights.

U.S. border rules prevent the Chambers family from crossing south, but he says relatives and close friends will be able to visit him and his family in Canada.

“Families in Canada and America could never have expected to be separated like this and for so long,” he wrote in an email.

“We have loved ones who will not survive to see restrictions lifted and will never see them again.”

“Binational Families Abandoned”

Marcela Picone of Buffalo, New York is a US citizen, her Canadian fiancée is a permanent resident, and she has two children.

“I’m happy that Canada is finally pre-pandemic and has eliminated discriminatory and unjust apps,” Picone said, alluding to the mandatory ArriveCan system for entry.

“There was a lot of heartache and the binational family was abandoned and forgotten by both the U.S. and Canadian governments.”

She has been able to enter Canada in the past few months, but her fiancée has not been able to visit the United States, so things have not changed. Foreigners who have not been vaccinated will not be allowed to enter the country.

Picone has advocated for the lifting of restrictions in both countries and manages a social media support group for binational families. She also says she worked with Congressman Chris Jacobs’ office to address border restrictions.

Picone has said she will continue her support until the United States lifts border restrictions, but given that President Joe Biden recently said the “pandemic is over,” she said it “makes no sense.” say.

“Binational families have seen the freedom to connect and reunite with relatives and relatives oppressed during the pandemic. No,” said Picone.

Noe Chartier


Noé Chartier is a reporter for the Epoch Times based in Montreal. Twitter: @NChartierET Gettr: @nchartieret