Stuck in Vermont: Vermonter Liza Smith-Vedder Has Been Stuck in Canada for Two Years | Stuck in Vermont | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Stuck in Vermont: Vermonter Liza Smith-Vedder Has Been Stuck in Canada for Two Years

Episode 659


Published February 24, 2022 at 7:30 a.m.

The pandemic has caused seismic shifts in many lives, and Liza Smith-Vedder has experienced this firsthand. After living in Burlington for almost two decades, Liza married Canadian Josée Lamoureux in June 2019. The couple split their time between Vermont and Canada, and Liza planned to apply for permanent residency.

When the border between their two countries was about to close, Liza had 45 minutes to decide what to pack. She took a few bags and their dog, Benson, and made it to Canada on March 13, 2020. She assumed that her stay would be about three months. Two years later, Liza is using a tourist visa to remain in Canada, and all her possessions are in her condo in Burlington. Because Liza is applying for residency, she is unable to cross the border to return to Vermont. While she is lucky to work remotely, she can’t buy a cellphone, use her health care or open a bank account in her limbo state. Liza does not speak French, which makes reading road signs and navigating daily life more difficult. Still, she wants to stress how lucky she is and that she hopes to become a Canadian resident soon.

Liza and her wife now live in Magog, a small town in Québec that shares Lake Memphremagog with Vermont and is quite similar to Burlington. Eva talked to Liza via Zoom about what the past two years of being stuck in Canada have been like. Eva also visited Liza’s former office in Colchester to view Liza’s things, which she has not seen in two years. Six months ago, she stopped working for that business, but her pens and hockey puck remain in stasis.

When the COVID-19 travel restrictions in Magog were relaxed, Eva visited the couple to learn about their lives in Canada.

Filming date: 2/3/22, 2/16/22 & 2/20/22

This episode of Stuck in Vermont was supported by New England Federal Credit Union.