Life-changing stories of COVID restrictions

Unvaccinated Canadians were able to take domestic flights again on June 20, but for some, after missing important moments in their lives due to mandatory vaccinations, they have already I was damaged.

Some of the stories The Epoch Times heard were not being there for loved ones when they needed them, missing funerals in time, and couples living across borders failing to see each other. .

A review of court documents relating to four lawsuits challenging travel mandates reveals why the government has not granted travel exemptions to unvaccinated Canadians.

The Cabinet wanted a strict mandate with as few exemptions as possible, so policymakers drafted what they considered to be a “world-leading” mandate.

The policy was described as “one of the strongest vaccination mandates for global travelers” when it was presented to Transport Minister Omar Al-Ghabra during a briefing on 2 October.

The idea was to make the federally regulated transportation system as safe as possible by excluding unvaccinated people.

This was done while data on in-flight transmission was limited, court documents show, and it was equally likely whether individuals infected with COVID-19 were vaccinated or not. This was done at a time when studies had already suggested that they carried a viral load of

Mandatory vaccines for domestic travel by plane and train were recently suspended, but they still apply to cruise ships, and border restrictions continue to prevent family reunions.

The Epoch Times heard from many people affected by the vaccine policy that they were separated from their families or unable to attend special celebrations and funerals. It’s just a small part.


Not being able to be near dying relatives or missing funerals was emphasized several times in the description.

Angela Bell, from Ontario, said she was planning a final trip to Mexico after her father finished his last round of chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer. Her trip had to be canceled early in the pandemic, and despite her attempts to rebook, her father eventually passed away nine months later.

“One of my dad’s to-do lists was spending Christmas with his feet in the sand, so my family and I thought it would be nice to take his ashes and go on that trip. But the government has invoked a vaccination mandate, and I was the only one who wasn’t vaccinated and couldn’t make an appointment,” Bell said.

She says she can’t afford a 14-day quarantine now that her duties are suspended, especially since her firefighter husband has been on unpaid leave for eight months after refusing a COVID-19 injection.

Bell says she was unable to properly mourn her father’s death and that the government has disrupted and “upended” her life.

Epoch Times photo
Angela Bell with her father, who died after a battle with pancreatic cancer. (Courtesy of Angela Bell)

Rachel, who is from Quebec, asked to provide only her first name out of concern for possible repercussions.She told the Epoch Times that she was unable to attend her uncle’s funeral in December 2021 and her aunt’s funeral in March 2022. Told.

Missing those funerals “felt like a knife in my heart,” she says.

Then, in March, the 76-year-old mother broke her leg. Rachel says she had to take the bus to Saskatchewan for four days to see her.

Virginia Anderson of BC said her stepfather’s health in Ontario was deteriorating. Despite her long drive, she said she was preparing for her trip, but he died of a heart attack before she got there.

“The grief of his death was compounded by my anger at not being able to fly there,” says Anderson.

separated family

Canadians who have not been vaccinated can now fly from anywhere in Canada, although border restrictions are still in place. there is.

Foreigners who have not been vaccinated cannot travel to Canada for purposes such as tourism, but must seek an exemption to enter for compassionate reasons.

Originally from BC, Eric Chambers is part of a binational family that spans Washington.

“We can now meet our loved ones in about 80 countries, but knowing that we can’t meet at each other’s homes across borders that have always been defenseless friendly countries is very difficult to accept.

Chambers has been unable to say goodbye to and comfort his surviving grandparents, and his children have been unable to attend a family dinner in the United States since 2019.

“My wife is very sorry for not being there for our family and her closest friends across the border, and for all that our children have missed out on because of these restrictions. I feel very sick and cry almost every day.”

Christine Dougherty is an American citizen with permanent residency in Canada and living in Ontario.

Living in a border town, she says her pre-COVID life meant “crossing borders hassle-free.” Her daughters went to school every day in America.

Now she can return without issue, but will have to quarantine if she re-enters Canada and cannot be away for very long due to work.

Dougherty says he missed births, deaths and holidays.

“I grew up near nephews, and now three of them have children I don’t know. My niece has a child I’ve never seen.” she says.

“I lost a large part of my life. I can no longer go to the city where I was born and raised.

“There are tears, but I will crush them.”

relationship under pressure

Families in border towns are separated, while couples of different nationalities are also struggling.

Originally from Manitoba, Hope Vanbeserrare is married to an American citizen working in Texas. Before he was restricted, he said he could meet as often as his schedule allowed. Now it’s limited to once a year.

An unvaccinated husband cannot enter Canada because the government does not allow family reunions. The United States also does not allow unvaccinated travelers into the country, but some Canadians have crossed the border without being asked about their vaccination status.

Vanbeselaere says she does not want to risk crossing to avoid jeopardizing her residency application.

“We literally may never see each other again, much less live together,” she says.

“At this point, our faith in God is the only thing that keeps us going. We’ve lost our freedom, we’ve lost our families, we’ve lost years of time that will never come back.”

Ontario native Vera Post told the Epoch Times that she hasn’t seen her American husband since 2020.

“I may not have missed a wedding, a funeral, etc., but this is still important. This lost time will never come back. And the pain is like death,” she said.

“Governments need to be held accountable for our suffering and for the hundreds of thousands of cross-border families in our situation.”

Epoch Times photo
Vera Post last seen her husband in November 2020. (Courtesy of Vera Post)

Ontario native Veronica Rowlands said she couldn’t be with her American fiancée or plan a wedding. They have taken advantage of various exemptions and loopholes to see each other during the pandemic, but the network has grown closer since then.

Roelands went to the United States before the mandate took effect and remained there for a six-month restricted period.

Now that she’s home, she says, “I have no real hope of seeing each other or planning a wedding.” , that could take up to a year and a half, she says.

“We would love to start a life together, but these outdated and inconsistent restrictions have turned what should have been an easy, carefree relationship into a very stressful one. I’ve lost it,” she says.

Noe Chartier


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