Ontario woman advocates for a quarantine exemption so she can visit American relatives within 15 minutes

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Ontario woman advocates for a quarantine exemption so she can visit American relatives within 15 minutes


TORONTO – In Fort Erie, Ont. A woman calls for quarantine exemptions for families with loved ones living on both sides of the border.
Sandy Pearce is a U.S. citizen and permanent resident of Canada and has lived in Ontario for 41 years.

His 89-year-old mother and 92-year-old father live across the border near Hamburg, New York, a 15-minute drive from his Fort Erie home.

But COVID-19 border restrictions and mandatory 14-day quarantine rules on entry to Canada mean Pearce cannot go and help his parents.

“We are not fighting to reopen the border, we are just fighting to find our families and loved ones,” Pearce told CTV News Toronto on Wednesday.

Pearce says border communities should be treated differently when it comes to quarantine rules because they are so blended families.

“A lot of people can’t quarantine because you have to work,” she said. “How do I take two weeks off every time I go?” I cannot go back and come back to quarantine. And I can’t just spend more than six months. My parents need help. ”

Pearce has asked the Public Health Agency of Canada for an exemption from the quarantine rules. She was refused three times.

In a letter Pearce shared with CTV News Toronto, officials from the Public Health Agency of Canada wrote: “While we are truly sympathetic with this predicament, under the mandatory segregation order, there are no exemptions from the border obligation to care for family members. ”

Pearce said this problem affects stepfamilies in border communities across the country and their voices are not being heard.

According to the government website, the only people who have been granted exemptions from the public health regulations are those who deliver essential goods, those who work in commerce or transport, those who work in emergency services. and those crossing the border. regularly to work in areas such as healthcare or critical infrastructure.

Pearce and his supporters are holding a demonstration Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. near the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie to call attention to the issue.

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