Forgotten in foreign countries: Quebecers want to be repatriated

Oubliés à l’étranger: des Québécois veulent être rapatriés

Hundreds of Quebecers are always forced to confront the pandemic, thousands of miles from home, stuck a little around the world. Feeling abandoned by Ottawa, and short of solutions, they implore the government to do more.

After the publication last week of our reports on a lady struggling with heart problems, stuck in Morocco, as well as a couple eager to return to Peru, tens of Quebecers stuck abroad have contacted The Journal.

The Association of assistance to the immigration, which accompanies citizens in their steps, says his side have been contacted by almost 10 000 people who are currently attempting to return.

Common Point of their stories : they were often tempted to return to the country at the end of march when Justin Trudeau has insisted on the fact “that it was time to go home”, but several could not find their way into the flights of repatriation organized.

Today, they live in distress and fear for their health, physical, mental and financial.

Among these are :

  • A man in remission from cancers that wants to return from Brazil to ensure its medical follow-up;
  • A group of Quebecois in Guadeloupe, which include pregnant women, was denied access to a flight of repatriation empty last week because they did not have authorization to Ottawa;
  • A traveller of 75-year-old has missed the birth of his granddaughter because he is stuck in the Philippines;
  • Fed up of waiting on the federal government, of Quebec in Peru have had themselves to organise return flights with a private company;
  • Many Quebecers are still stuck in Morocco, in which a single mother separated from her two boys stayed here;
  • An octogenarian is taken only in Florida for months, and it may not return because his state of health deteriorated.

Questioned on these issues, the ministry of foreign Affairs federal does not have white gloves to deal with the situation. Some Canadians will not be repatriated.

“Despite all our efforts, we will not be able to ensure the return of all Canadians who would like to return to the country,” says Angela Savard, spokesperson for global Business Canada.

Sensitive “to the situation”

Nevertheless, the federal government says it is “sensitive” to the stressful situation in which many Canadians overseas are currently facing”.

“The government of Canada continued to explore the possibilities of flights for Canadians who have indicated that they are stranded abroad and they want to go home,” says dr. Savard.

This process, however, will accelerate, insists the conservative opposition in Ottawa.

“We are seeing at this point of time inexplicable. We understand that this is an extraordinary situation, but the messages that the conservatives are still given today clearly indicate that there are gaps in the current system”, says the lieutenant in the Quebec conservative Party, Alain Reyes.

Lack of services

Many of these nationals have criticised the lack of services abroad.

“Cold, inhuman and absent” are adjectives frequently used when describing canadian consular services.

The government blames the high volume of requests, but does not specify how the situation could be improved, simply asserting that “interruptions of service may occur”.

Dud, said Block

“Is it that there are hiccups in the level of the consular staff? Yes, certainly,” said Stéphane Bergeron, a critic of the Bloc Québécois in the field of foreign Affairs.

“If citizens wish to communicate with us to talk about their difficulties, rest assured that you will pass on the message to the government and that there, it’s going to go,” says the member for Montarville.

The effort of repatriation in figures

42 599 | Number of Canadians returned to the country

447 | Flights on which Canadians have been able to return

110 | Countries covered by the repatriation of the canadian

331 807 | Canadians registered as being abroad (does not necessarily mean that they want to go back)

4235 | emergency Loans granted

$14.1 Million | total Amount of loans emergency

600 | Other loans that are still in the study (dated June 10)

The 10 countries most affected by requests for repatriation

(as of April)

  • United States
  • Mexico
  • British
  • Peru
  • Spain
  • Morocco
  • Pakistan
  • India
  • Philippines
  • Australia


South america

“This may be my last trip, but I want to get back from my trip”

Remission of cancers, René Pichette, saw his trip to Brazil to go see his children as his ” last trip “. Stuck there since January, he now hopes to “return” to the never-ending journey to ensure that the cancer has not returned.

Click on this link to continue your reading.

Abandoned by Ottawa, she plans to turn to the France

A lady from the eastern Townships who has also the French nationality intends to turn to their countries of origin to help him get out of Ecuador due to the lack of support from the canadian government.

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They organise themselves for their return

Dissatisfied with the work of the embassy, of Quebec exasperated to be stuck in Peru are trying by themselves to organize flights with a private airline to enter the country.

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Travelers should “take their responsibilities”

Even if she is stuck for weeks, even months, in Peru, Amélie Dubuc-Guimond does not want the canadian government to not be coming, because she believes that travelers should take their responsibilities.

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Deprived of his medicine

The lack of availability of drugs cause a lot of stress to those who are stuck abroad without knowing when they will be able to return to the country.

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To live as a recluse in Colombia may be up in the fall

A Montreal party in journey to South America is concerned about being stuck in Columbia until the fall, but even more so to see the Colombians suffer from hunger as a result of the COVID in the meantime.

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Guadeloupe-Paris to return to Montreal

A couple of septuagenarians, is now a sixth report of a flight for her return to Guadeloupe. Out of breath, they are considering taking a flight to Paris and then to return to Montreal, a double crossing of the Atlantic, while they are yet in a five-hour flight home.

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“Will he take me to take a rowing boat to get back?”

Only in the dominican Republic at age 70, a retiree does not know what to do to return to the country.

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Private return because they have a dog

Quebec complained about the limited cooperation of an airline company which refused seats on flights for repatriation since the passengers wanted to bring their dog. “It is not true that I’m going to leave my dog to die here,” insists Michel Daoust.

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No collaboration between ” two friendly countries,”

Quebecers stuck in Guadeloupe deplore the lack of communication between different countries, after being denied access to a direct flight yet empty, which left the French island last Saturday to Canada.

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He missed the birth of his granddaughter

A man of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu has missed the birth of his latest granddaughter, unable to take his flight back to the Philippines since the latter was scheduled for a stopover in a country whose borders were closed.

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She must pass his turn and wait until July

Mariane Quessy-Dion had a slim hope of being able to finally return to Quebec, but the flights for the repatriation to India have been booked so quickly that she must pass his turn and wait until July.

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A nurse is fighting for her husband stuck in Mali

“I try to be strong for everyone, but at a given time, it is a lot of weight on my shoulders, this is not obvious to manage,” says Marie-Claire Boivin.

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North africa

Too dangerous to cross the country

A Montrealer stuck in the western Sahara could try to take a flight back home, but do not dare to do the long hours of road that separates the city of Casablanca, Morocco, fearing for his safety.

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Separated from her two boys

A woman of Quebec has urged the government to bring it back to the house so that she can look after his two sons, the oldest has had to double her working hours to meet the needs of the family.

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Stuck with their two children ages 8 months and 2 years

A father who has lost his job since he is stuck in Morocco deplores the fact that Ottawa is only offering impossible solutions ” to some of its nationals to enter the country, while other countries are making direct flights to repetition.

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Ready to go down there if Canada can bring his pregnant wife

Worried for his pregnant wife trapped in Morocco, a Montrealer is planning to take a flight to Casablanca, and left to throw him also into the mouth of the wolf staying taken to be 3500 miles away from home.

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Discrimination between Canadian “original” and other citizens ?

A canadian citizen who has been stuck for four months in Morocco denounces what it describes as “discrimination” on the part of Ottawa, so that people born in Canada were contacted before those with citizenship for possibilities of repatriation.

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Central America

Waiting in their “prison dorée”

Moored in a country with containment measures to be very strict for the past three months, a couple of Montreal is forced to wait and do not see how it can get out of Guatemala before the fall.

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Nourished by the generosity of local

A Quebec 61-year-old found herself alone and impoverished in a hotel in Liberia, Costa Rica, hosted by the owner of the place and nourished by the generosity of the local.

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Mexico and Florida

Their doberman not accepted on board

A family of six people taken in Mexico can never return to the country because of their small dog whose breed is not accepted by several airlines.

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An octogenarian launches a cry from the heart

Taken only in Florida for several months for health reasons, an octogenarian, who feared for his life away from his family, is launching a cry of the heart for be repatriated more quickly.

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