Hello! My name is Trey McGowan.
The picture you see above is of myself and my husband, Gareth Gredig.
Over 20 years ago, we were best friends. He lived in Australia, and I lived in Canada. Time and feelings grew, and we knew that we wanted to try living together forever. The question was simple: move me to Australia, or him to Canada?
The answer? A simple one, made for us by the governments: Australia does not have legal recognition of gay marriage. Canada does.
He moved to Canada, where the two of us, after over a year of living together, were married. And here is where the struggle begins: getting him legal residency so that we may continue living together.
Unfortunately, I am on ODSP (Ontario's Disability Support Program), and with his medical and education history, it is difficult for him to obtain any kind of work Visa, making the constant fear of his medical situation going downhill while we desperately try to scrape together the funds a very real one.
It's a lose-lose situation; both of us are living on one small disability cheque, and each time we try to save up enough for even the base paperwork, by the time we get even halfway there, we end up struck down by life. A sick pet. A broken refrigerator. A prolonged illness requiring non-covered medication. Transportation to required appointments. When $150 a month is the most you can hang on to, one crisis can make it all fall apart fast.
A loan isn't an option for someone who has never borrowed money and who stays away from debt of any sort; what credit I have is miniscule, as I was taught long ago to pay for everything in cash, and if I can't afford it, I don't get it. No credit, in the long run, is worse than bad credit, when it comes to banks and any reputable loan locations.
Sponsorship Fee = $550 (Sponsor [me] pays $75, sponsored [him] pays $475)
Right Of Permanent Residence Fee = $490 (separate from the above fee)
Work Visa Fee = $255 ($155 for permit + $100 open permit)
Photographs = $25 (must be taken by professional photographer: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/pr-card/apply-photos.asp)
Medical Exam = $300 (cost is not covered under Ontario's provincial health insurance [OHIP] because individual is not a Canadian resident)
Transportation to medical exam = $80 (doctor must be an approved panel physician: http://www.cic.gc.ca/pp-md/pp-list.aspx; the nearest board-approved doctor is an hour away)
5% for GoFundMe fees = $85
GoFundMe payment processor's fee of 2.9% (+ $0.30 per donation) = $49.30 (+ .30 per donation)
(to confirm the above information about GoFundMe's fees: https://ca.gofundme.com/pricing)
$1,834.30 (plus an unknown number per donation)
Extra potential fees, plus rounding out for cleanliness = 167.70
Even this one step would make a huge difference in a quality of life and a level of stress. No longer would we have to worry every six months that he may get his Visa renewal rejected. Never again would we need to worry that he will get ill, and be unable to access basic healthcare without us once again having to pay out of pocket. We can continue to pay our bills without the stresses of juggling a razor-thin budget as we try to get enough to keep our lives together while being able to keep ourselves together for life.
- Donald King
- Nicholas Hinds
- Charles Montney
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