Essential oilpatch worker wrongly denied exemption, forced into quarantine hotel

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Essential workers are being nabbed at the airport in Calgary and shuttled off to COVID quarantine hotels, and whether they walk free or get snatched up to Corona Jail is being left to the discretion of the poorly trained public health worker at the airport.

Amanda Dux is the wife of a Canadian oilpatch worker who is working on a project in New Mexico. He travels back and forth from his home near Stettler, Alberta, through the airport in Calgary to his rig every two weeks — two weeks on, two weeks off, like clockwork.

Amanda's husband is an essential worker and routinely crosses the border for work, so he falls under the same quarantine exemptions as truckers. He also carries a letter of exemption from the Alberta government, just in case.

But in the confusion and chaos caused by Trudeau’s new quarantine requirements for international travellers, Amanda’s husband was carted out of the Calgary airport to a quarantine hotel. To make matters worse, his coworker from the same rig, who was on the same flight back to Alberta, was able to breeze through screening and hop into his pickup to head home to his family as a free man. The agent dealing with Amanda’s husband’s coworker had a different interpretation of the rules, it seems.

Unlike the mainstream media, I know a thing or two about having an expat husband working in a foreign oil patch, because there are no jobs here at home. I’ve been in Amanda’s shoes, and I know the anticipation of the drive to the airport after so many weeks apart. But I can’t relate to coming home alone.

Amanda spoke to me from her home, the morning after her husband was taken away from the Calgary airport.

Since our interview, her husband has been released from his forced quarantine and is at home with her. But he can’t get the time Trudeau’s confusion stole from him and his family back.

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  • By David Menzies

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