September 22, 2020
Re: Importance of family reunification in these difficult times
The Honourable Marco Mendicino
Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship
The Honourable Bill Blair
Minister responsible for the Canada Border Services Agency
Dear Minister Mendicino,
Yesterday marks six months since the Canadian border closed to those without Canadian citizenship or permanent residence. We were pleased to see the order in council 2-020-0442 from June 8th which loosened those border restrictions enough to let underage children and marital spouses reunite with their Canadian loved ones, while following appropriate isolation measures. In these times of great uncertainty, people rely on their family and loved ones to bolster their spirits.
We have two requests of you today:
- I am sure you are aware that above mentioned order in council left out at least two significant categories of family and that there is a growing movement of Canadians seeking reunification with their adult children and their unmarried life partners.
Children looking to take care of their elderly parents, engaged partners that were waiting for a visa before the pandemic, members of the LGBTQIA2+ community that cannot out themselves in their home countries, and so many others are not able to travel to Canada to be reunited with their loved ones. Those loved ones, the Canadian citizens, have been cut off from their emotional support system for over 6 months. Their suffering is real, as is their hopelessness. We are asking you to publish a new order in council to exempt these two classes of travel under family reunification. And if you are working toward this, would you please signal this work to those who are suffering. They need something on which to pin their hopes.
- There are families abroad who received confirmation of their Canadian permanent residence after the March 18th cutoff and they are continuing to be denied travel documents. Some of these families face worsening political conditions in their home countries. Our request is simple; issue a directive that those with confirmations of permanent residence be allowed to travel to Canada so that they may land and activate their permanent residency.
Thank you for your consideration. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further with you.