Love without borders: protest held at border crossing
Published Sunday, March 28, 2021 3:33PM EDT Last Updated Sunday, March 28, 2021 4:26PM EDT
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Frustration is mounting for couples in cross-border relationships and their message is clear to upper levels of government — reopen the border.
The group “Love Without Borders” held a protest Sunday at the Ambassador Bridge.
“We want the border to open up so couples can cross the border, people that are engaged and committed long term relationships can cross the border without going through the whole IRCC forms to fill out,” says organizer Tina Ouellette.
She isn’t asking for a full reopening of the border, rather a smoother process for loved ones to reunite.
“We have to fight for our rights and our freedoms back,” Ouellette says. “That’s what we’re trying to do.”
Ouellette herself is in a cross-border relationship.
The last time the two were together was last August.
“It’s been tough because video chatting and texting and calling isn’t the same as seeing him in person,” she says.
Constance Hahn is in a similar position.
“It’s been over 365 days,” Hahn says. “I’ve seen my husband four times.”
She married her American spouse in 2019.
Her husband was planning to move to Windsor the following year, but then COVID hit.
“If you come to the border and you already have a negative COVID test that should be enough. You shouldn’t have to quarantine. It’s ridiculous,” Hahn tells CTV News.
Last week, U.S. Homeland Security announced the current border restrictions will remain in place and restrictions for non-essential travel will not be lifted for at least another month.
The announcement came days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that reopening the border wasn’t an immediate priority.
Last Wednesday, Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierczyk commented on when the border can safely reopen.
“That’s gonna be dictated by the situation on the ground which is fluid and it’s going to be dictated by or driven by best available health science from our chief public officials as well,” says Kusmierczyk.
Ouellette says the group is hoping Sunday’s protest was the first of many.
They’re planning to meet every Sunday at the Ambassador Bridge.
“Work with us,” she says. “Help us get the border open for loved ones to see their families because they’re ruining relationships and ruining families.”