Open letter to:
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
Dear Prime Minister:
We are Elena and Meg, a Canadian-Russian, LGBT family. Meg is a Canadian citizen by birth. Elena is a refugee from Russia and permanent resident of Canada.
Twelve years ago, completely unsupported and denied landing in most countries from the Turkish coast to Meg’s home in Victoria, we braved and survived a 24,000 km sailing journey, following months on the run, and in hiding, in both Ukraine and Turkey.
To this day, we are denied the rights, privileges, protection and dignity, granted to other Canadian families. Elena’s application for citizenship has been in process, or ignored, for six years. For the last twelve years we have lived in constant fear of separation, been denied full participation within society, have been unable to plan our lives as a family which has left us without the basic human right of freedom of movement and self determination.
Communication with your department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is hostile and virtually impossible. A previous letter to you, forwarded by your office to the Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, in October 2017, remains unanswered.
Twelve years ago, a Russian and a Canadian woman fell in love. We risked everything, including our lives, to be together. Over the ensuing years and despite the unimaginable obstacles we have had to overcome, we have stayed together.
We want to be citizens of the same country — a country that recognizes our union, respects our human rights and freedoms, and allows us to choose our own path. Why does Canada deny us this?
Is this how Canada treats its LGBT citizens and immigrants?
Elena Ivanova, Russian refugee
Morgan (Meg) Stone, Canadian citizen
March 01, 2018