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Why Not Canada and What’s Next?

by Elena

It is assumed that because Meg and I took off into the unknown on a sailboat to stay together and headed for Meg’s home country, we got to Canada’s shore and lived there happily ever after. This couldn’t be further from what really happened.

Meg and I need a country where we can be together, so why not Canada?

It doesn’t have to be Canada

Elena Ivanova leans jauntily against a towering pine in Canada's oh-so-trendy Banff National Park

When I followed Meg in 2006 my primary purpose was not to emigrate to Canada but to be together with the woman I love. Although my life was in danger in my home country for who I loved, I never set out to be a refugee/immigrant and never felt like one. Meg and I never received Canada’s assistance in us not being torn apart when we needed it in Kiev, so we took care of ourselves by getting away from bad guys and surviving on high seas for a whole year. We did it completely on our own, Canada had nothing to do with our escape and us managing to stay together.

What Canada has been doing over a decade was stranding me in one place, stripping Meg and I of our right to plan our life and issuing me pieces of paper that in the end didn’t give me any freedoms or safety as I still can be deported from Canada and have no right to be with Meg outside of Canada. Our lives were put on hold for 12 years until 2018 when Canada’s Immigration finally deigned to make a decision on my 6 year old application and informed me that I will not be Canadian citizen.

The so called “Right to reside and work in the country” does not grant me any right to live my life the way I want, provide me any safety, give me the same rights as my spouse, or prevent Canada from separating me from my family, Meg. All of this comes with citizenship.

There is absolutely nothing for us in Canada

There is not a single person in Canada, we know personally, who cares about us.

In Canada I haven’t witnessed anything towards Meg and I, but suspicion, jealousy and hostility. After the experience Meg and I had in Canada and dealing with it’s Immigration department, there is no question for us; we do not want anything to do with this country. The truth is, I regret trusting Canada not to denigrate and waste so many years of our lives with it’s contemptuous, petty and hateful immigration optics games.

Meg and I are not done

Until this day, Meg and I are going through some seriously rough times, just to survive and stay together. As we see it, this is the price we pay, in this modern world for our liberation. Yes, we still posses the spirit, the strength, we still love life and the world, but we also need people. As it stands, we have no country where we are welcome, equal, safe, and considered a family, and where we can remain indefinitely; a country we can call home. We are outcasts in our respective countries – Russia and Canada. This is the reality we deal with every day, and so far we have prevailed. Despite everything Meg and I had to go through — and are still going through — we are victorious because we fought for our lives and we have won – we are together, we are free and we are seeing the world. We have taken back our lives!

Meg and I can’t say with any degree of certainty what will happen to us in the future. We ourselves have no idea. But we won’t lie down and die, won’t give up, and will keep going until we can’t go any longer. There is no such thing as a happy ending, it is a Hollywood invention. In our case, the happy ending has started from the very beginning, when Meg and I met in Ukraine and stuck together no matter what. Our life, in itself, is the happy ending. Us being together and living life on our own terms is what’s worth it, is what it’s all about.

We will go on, we will seek out people, place, country that we will love, that will want us to be part of it. We will continue to experience life. And as far as country is concerned, who knows… There are no answers, there are only choices, and as long as Meg and I listen to our hearts, I am sure, we will find the place to belong.

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