There may be no physical barrier between Canada and the United States, but COVID-19 has put up a border of sorts for Abbotsford resident Megan Ferguson and her fiance Everett, Wash. resident Joe Spridgeon.
The pair, who have been dating for over two years and plan to wed next May, have been unable to see each other during the pandemic.
Peace Arch Provincial Park, a place where the couple met may times in the past, was closed by government officials on June 18. It will remain that way until it is deemed safe to do so.
The park reopened on May 14, just over a month after all provincial parks were closed as part of actions to help address the spread of COVID-19.
Ferguson launched a petition entitled “Keep the Peace Arch Park Open” on June 18, and the change.org petition has already gathered over 600 signatures.
“The Peace Arch Park has been an important place that Joe and I have been able to meet,” she shared on her Facebook page. “I am greatly saddened to hear that the B.C. government has decided to close the park even after Dr. Henry herself has stated the the outdoors is a safe place to see family and friends that are asymptomatic. Additionally why is it impossible to create a reservation system for the park. Canada is better than this.”
Canada and the US have been neighbours for decades, and the relationship between the two has yielded many families that are in both countries. The BC government wants to shut down the Peace Arch Park, one of the only places family members and loved ones can meet. For example, engaged couples can no longer meet and cannot cross into Canada because they are not immediate family. I believe this park needs to stay open. If new protocols need to be enforced such as a reservation system so be it, but let families continue to reunite with one another. The Canadian government is better than this. We can innovate rather than close the only means of connecting with family and friends.
Please join me in keeping the Peace Arch open.
To view the petition, visit change.org/p/bc-provincial-government-keep-the-peace-arch-park-open.