Tue Apr 27 2021
As the pandemic wares on my job as a flight attendant has not returned and despite submitting over two hundred job application I have not been able to secure alternate employment. A year later, now out of savings, I had little choice but to declare defeat and move back with my parent in New Brunswick where I am from. I have followed each requirement, getting approval two months in advance, terminating my leases, and obtaining a negative PCR test prior to arrival at the NB border. I spent my last few dollars on a small roof bag to fit to my car so I could bring the few personal belongings - I haven't had to sell - with me.
As the move date of April 30 approached everything had been set. I had an empty house to do my 14 day self isolation. My mother and aunt had worked tirelessly to ensure the house was clean, stocked and ready to receive me. This included included taking my grandfather into their homes temporarily so I could use his house for the 14 day isolation.
Then the April 24 announcement of the new mandatory "hotel quarantine" upon arrival in New Brunswick. I had been approved and planned under the old rules and am less than 7 days away from my move. I also know I have only 300 dollars to my name which is earmarked for fuel to make the 18 hour journey from Toronto, ON to Doaktown, NB.
After calling all the lines to get more information about the new requirement, specifically, what to do if I cannot afford this burdensome amount of money (was quoted between 1650 -1800 for the 7 days) and I was told simply over the phone: cancel your move and seek out a homeless shelter in your area. I was taken aback. In the midst of a pandemic a government representative has told me clearly to not come, it seems they don't want me. My travel reason isn't good enough. They would rather see me homeless in Toronto than housed in New Brunswick where I plan on staying beyond the pandemic and rebuilding my life.
I can still hardly believe my ears. I am due to leave the Toronto in three days and without means to book the hotel I am unsure about what will happen to me at the border. I've called over a dozen times to get answers and waited about 10 hours total on hold, and each time I am told " no information is available" "we haven't thought of that" "no, don't come". What choice do I have now?
Stuck in limbo I am unsure of what is next. I am prepared to try my luck at a shelter here knowing I am almost guaranteed to get COVID-19. I am also prepared to try my luck at the border and hope by the morning I arrive they have a plan for those in similar positions - willing to isolate in a hotel but financially unable to pay such a burdensome amount. I can only hope that all the unknowns are known by Friday and I can move without the fear of being prevented from entering a part of my very own country due to arbitrary policy decision on the part of the province of NB.