BILLINGS — A Canadian woman who lives in Billings threw her support behind the Freedom Convoy against COVID-19 vaccine mandates this weekend, after she hasn't seen her Canadian family since the pandemic began due to travel restrictions.
"I haven't been home in two and a half years. I can't afford to leave my business for the two week time period that it would take to quarantine then the time to actually visit my family once I was allowed out of quarantine," said Kimberly Meier on Saturday.
Meier, 43, is a citizen of Canada, but has a permanent resident visa in the United States. Meier married an American man and has lived in Billings for the past 15 years.
She traveled to the U.S.-Canada border town of Sweet Grass in Montana on Saturday to support the Freedom Convoy. The group of thousands of truckers and other supporters started in western Canada about five days ago, driving in protest of a Canadian mandate where truckers must quarantine for two weeks if passing into the country without a COVID-19 vaccination.
The convoy made it to the Canadian capital in Ottawa, Ontario on Saturday, according to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Meier said there was support for the convoy on either side of the U.S.-Canada border.
"It was lines and lines of trucks. They were honking their horns. We were out on the road, Canadian flags and American flags on the other side. It was great. It was a great show of support," Meier said.
While Meier isn't a truck driver, she said she's frustrated with the two-week quarantine requirement for unvaccinated travelers. Her parents came to Montana to visit in November and when they got back to Canada, they had to quarantine for two weeks - and calls from the Canadian government to Meier's parents checking up on their quarantine didn't sit well with her.
"They did their PCR tests, then still when they went home, my mom got a phone call and one was a video call just making sure that she was doing her required quarantine. It's unreasonable, the restrictions that they have even on citizens there," Meier said.