Canada has refused to give a lesbian citizenship allegedly because her partner’s sister dumped a billionaire for k.d. lang.
Elena sailed her yacht across the Atlantic Ocean from Russia to be with her same-sex partner Meg. But since then, they say the immigration system has denied them their freedom for 11 years.
They claim the Canadian government has made ‘too many mistakes’ for it to be down to simple human error.
Therefore, the couple now suspect the Canadian government of a conspiracy. They feel like they have been denied their basic rights, their freedom and the right to travel.
Escaping Russia by boat to be with the woman she loves
You might remember Elena, born in the USSR, and Meg, from Canada, from a viral GSN article in 2017.
Elena was allegedly in an abusive family in Russia when she met Meg. She says her family even took away her passport so she couldn’t flee. But Canadian-born Meg bought a sailing yacht to help her escape.
Together they sailed across the ocean. They risked dying in a hurricane in the Atlantic. In 2007, they finally reached Canada.
But their story didn’t end there. Since then, they’ve kept sailing. And they’ve been fighting for their legal right to stay together in Meg’s home country.
When they arrived, Elena requested asylum. But they were immediately met with difficulties and delays.
The couple told GSN they have spent more than a decade of their lives and hundreds of thousands of dollars on trying to obtain Canadian citizenship for Elena.
They say Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada kept stalling them. Elena’s application went missing. Three years after requesting a refugee hearing, an investigation located Elena’s missing file in a small Alberta town.
‘We thought the government would act honorably and fix their mistakes,’ Meg told Gay Star News. ‘They didn’t. It kept happening. [Elena’s] residence application kept on being delayed. They accused us of the weirdest things.
‘There were too many accidents to feel like an accident.’
Rejected by Canada’s immigration system
Then, two weeks ago, the immigration department refused Elena’s citizenship application a final time.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada determined Elena was ‘not a stateless person’. Moreover, officials say she will not face unusual hardship if she returned to Russia, and she has not provided services of exceptional value to Canada. The couple have slammed the document as ‘fictional’ and ‘malicious’.
The only option is to appeal, which means more money and another eight years of waiting for a chance at life.
‘It shocked us,’ Elena said. ‘We thought Canada acts as a benevolent force to support its citizens and supports people in need.
‘I thought there were places in the world where people, and its system, are just.
‘It’s a dead end.’
Don’t take our freedom away
Canada does not grant ‘chain migration’. This means, unlike in the US and UK, getting married to a citizen does not give you a right to citizenship.
This is why Elena and Meg haven’t got married – it wouldn’t change their application.
Now they feel stuck. Even if they do appeal against the government for refusing Elena citizenship, the appeal will take two years. And after that, if they win the appeal, the application is sent back to IRCC all over again. This wait takes up to six years.
The couple says this is like a jail sentence.
‘When you take someone’s freedom and you lock them down, and tell them they can’t have their dreams, that is incarceration,’ Meg said.
‘We were incarcerated for a number of years in Canada. We sat waiting but it wasn’t enough for them. So we’ll sleep beneath the waves before we let them do that to us again.’
Is there a conspiracy in Canada that involves a billionaire and k.d. lang?
The couple believe it is possible this is just how the immigration system ‘tortures’ all of its applicants.
But they also believe the government could have a vendetta against them.
The reason is Meg’s sister, Heather Edwards.
(Editor’s note: GSN has not seen birth certificates to confirm the two are indeed sisters. But Meg did provide evidence in the form of photos of them together to confirm their relationship.)
Heather was allegedly engaged to be married to Hubert Chrétian, the son of former Prime Minister Jean Chrétian. Later, she married billionaire oil tycoon Norman Murray Edwards.
In 2016, Heather quietly separated from Norman Murray Edwards. The magnate moved to London, England, for a ‘fresh start’. He is a powerful man with ties to media, owns a hockey team, and owns many holiday resorts.
Later Heather apparently got together with k.d. lang. While Heather and k.d’s relationship is not confirmed, it has been widely reported by the media.
Meg told GSN she doesn’t get on with Heather. But she fears that the government is angry with her sister that she split up with billionaire Edwards, resulting in him leaving the country. And that’s why Meg and Elena believe there is a conspiracy to punish them as a couple.
Meg and Heather’s sibling rivalry
Meg and Heather have a sibling rivalry, with Meg suggesting Heather is ‘very competitive’.
‘My family hates me,’ Meg says. ‘When I came out of the closet, my family paid money to me so I wouldn’t visit.
‘I went to Russia, met Elena, bought a sailboat and sailed to Canada. My sister thought, “I’ll buy a 350 feet yacht and keep it right next to them”.
‘I get a girl, Heather gets k.d. lang. k.d. lang!’
Meg believes Heather ‘humiliated’ the governing political party in Canada by dumping the billionaire.
‘They might hate anything connected with her. The only relationship I have with her is that she’s my sister,’ Meg said.
Despite their fraught relationship, they say Heather has invited Meg to dinner at k.d. lang’s house.
Meg described k.d. lang as a ‘good cook’. However, they claim their hosts poured them wine that cost as much as their credit card debts.
‘Keep that shit,’ she said. ‘We want to change the world, we want to see this planet and live to the maximum until we can’t live anymore.’
Living on their own terms
We have made an attempt to contact Heather via k.d lang’s representative.
For now, Meg and Elena say will spend their lives sailing.
‘[The boat is] like a floating prison,’ Meg said. ‘But it’s also our survival’.
The two want to make their story into a film. While they have been approached by studios and producers, they have turned them down because they want creative control.
What the couple really wants is a piece of dry land to call their own. They want a community, a passport for Elena to travel freely, and ultimately their freedom.
‘It’s such a universal story,’ Meg said.
‘It’s about taking back your life and living on your own terms.
‘Even if that means our last breaths are seawater, we’re willing to take that chance.
‘Freedom costs, and if it shortens our lives – what the hell! What a ride. We’ve lived.’
You can learn more about Meg and Elena’s story on their website.
Elena and Meg have asked GSN not to use their surnames.
A Canadian government spokesperson did not respond to questions regarding the suspected conspiracy.
They reiterated the reasons given why Elena was denied citizenship. They said she was issued a refugee travel document that is valid until 28 September, 2019.
‘The Government of Canada is committed to extending protection to those who need it most,’ they told Gay Star News.
‘We recognize that members of the LGBTQ2 community are among the most vulnerable in the world.’