Canadian family gets mixed messages on if they can come back together from Wuhan
MONTREAL -- With the flight back to Canada expected to take off sometime Thursday evening, one family says they're still not sure if every member will be able to get on the plane.
Megan Millward, a Canadian citizen, and her husband, Lie Zhang, a permanent resident, had travelled to China with their two young children to celebrate the New Year with family.
She says after days of confusion, she still hasn't gotten any clarity from the Canadian government about whether Zhang will be able to fly home with her.
"The Canadian government has said that it's the Chinese government making this rule and the Chinese officials that we've spoken to said, 'No, we didn't. We are OK with any permanent resident that has a Canadian citizen family member with them,'" she told CTV News. "So, we don't know what's going on or why."
Millward says she received a copy of the travel manifest Wednesday, but it only has her name, as well as those of the couple's two children.
It's disappointing, Zhang adds, saying he was told by Chinese officials that they wouldn't stop him from getting on the plane as long as his name was on the list.
"I really hope that I can come together with the two kids. They're so young…It will be very hard for my wife to handle two kids," Zhang told CTV News. "I'm very confused and disappointed about why they just changed their minds because they confirmed, they said keeping families together was their priority."
The couple says they've even offered to fly out with the children on their laps to save seats.
"I asked, 'Well, can we just split them up like, I'll take one kid on this trip and there's another one who needs someone to accompany them?'" Millward said. "And they said, 'no, we register everyone as families.'"
The couple says their only hope is to try to negotiate their way through as a family when they go to the airport on Thursday.
"If we can get Chinese officials at the airport to confirm that yes, we're fine with someone leaving as long as they're on the manifest and they have Canadian citizen family members…then maybe they can just add him to the manifest," Millward said.
The couple is praying that, with recent news that the evacuation flight was delayed "due to circumstances beyond the control of the Government of Canada," they'll be able to come up with a solution in the nick of time.
"What's one more day after two weeks; it's not a huge deal for us," she said. "We're just hoping in these next 24 hours something will change and it can be all four of us getting on the plane."
Ottawa has confirmed more than 300 Canadians have asked for help to leave Wuhan, but the plane has room for only 250 passengers.