When Canada closed its border mid-March due to the pandemic, John Alan Aucoin and other Canadians were unequivocally assured their spouses from abroad would be allowed into the country despite the travel bans.
Little did they know it would come with a catch. Canada Border Services Agency actually had its own rules when applying the government order.
Aucoin didn’t expect his American wife, Adrienne Berg Yorinks, to have trouble coming home to Cape Breton. The couple’s only concern returning from Florida was being able to drive through Maine and New York with those states in lockdown.
But like many foreigner nationals married to Canadians but yet to become permanent residents, Yorinks was refused entry at the border. The couple have been separated for weeks now, one in Florida, the other in Nova Scotia, not knowing when the border will reopen.
“Adrienne was not on a shopping trip. It was not an optional travel. She’s travelling to our primary home with me, a Canadian,” said Aucoin, who met his now wife in 2014. They wed in 2018.
“The fact is Canadian families are being separated notwithstanding of our prime minister’s assertions.”
On March 16, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the border would be closed to non-Canadians, he made exceptions for immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. The travel ban, as stated in the government’s orders, was to curtail the spread of COVID-19.