BARRIE, ONT. — After months of missionary work in Jamaica, Thelma and Glen Perry of Barrie say they were welcomed back at Toronto’s Pearson airport with a pricey surprise.
The fully vaccinated couple, who are in their 80s, were handed more than $12,000 in fines for not complying with the quarantine act.
“It’s a feeling that comes over you that you can’t explain,” said Glen Perry.
The Perrys’ flight arrived a little earlier than the 10:30 p.m. expected arrival on July 4.
The couple says they thought it would take them until after midnight to get through customs, which is when the rules around government-ordered hotel stay for travelling Canadians were set to expire.
Instead, the couple says they were fined just before 10:00 p.m., despite asking if they could wait in the airport until midnight.
CTV News reached out to the Canadian Border Services, who say, “travellers who arrived before 12:01 a.m. on July 5 were not eligible for the reduced public health measures.”
Their only option was to stay at a government-approved hotel for three days and quarantine for two weeks.
“It’s very frustrating, I’m very stressed out, and I’m very disappointed in Canada,” Thelma said.
Local MP John Brassard is now trying to help the couple.
“I contacted both ministers Hajdu and Blair by email asking for some reasonableness and some compassion in this situation,” Brassard said. “I haven’t heard anything at this point.”
As for the Perrys, they hope that something can be done soon, as they can’t afford the ticket.
“We are at a crossroads, and I don’t know what comes next,” Thelma said.
According to the back of their tickets, they have three options: either pay the ticket, meet with a prosecutor to find a resolution, or fight the tickets in court.
Right now, the Perrys say the last option might be their only choice.