Life in B.C. bittersweet without parents

Editor, The News:

Re: Education and parenting, now add elder care to the list (Parenting, July 6).

I read Graham Hookey’s column with interest as this is a subject of great importance to me and my family.

We immigrated to B.C. five years ago, and love our life here, but for one issue. My parents are still in U.K., retired and, for now, in reasonable health.

I have one sister living in the U.S., and apart from that we have no other family left in the U.K. We applied to sponsor them nearly four years ago, but our application has not even been looked at yet, and we were recently informed by an ex-immigration officer that the government has halted all processing of sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents.

All available officers are working on processing refugees, and this is not to say their plight is not a worthy one. But how would you feel to receive a call to say your parent was seriously ill, and you live a nine-hour flight away

How about if one or the other could no longer live independently? How could you help them sort out these issues when you are thousands of miles away?

What does this say about the value this government puts on family, and even more, the value of seniors in our society?

I am a registered nurse, and my husband is a business analyst. We have childcare issues that grandparents would ease. We were welcomed here because we are seen as benefiting B.C., and pay taxes accordingly. But there is a bigger picture. Yes, we love our life here, but at the moment, it is bittersweet.

Lisa Norman

Maple Ridge