OTTAWA, ON – The Hon. Michelle Rempel Garner, Shadow Minister for Health, Shannon Stubbs, Shadow Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and Pierre Paul-Hus, Shadow Minister for Public Services and Procurement, issued the following statement regarding the extension of flight bans to control the spread of the new COVID-19 variant identified in the United Kingdom:
“We need to do everything we can to ensure that the new strain of COVID-19 does not spread in Canada. This includes prudent prevention and detection measures for people who are entering Canada. Conservatives were the first parliamentarians to call for border closures, as early as February 2020.
“However, for these measures to be effective, the federal government must stop creating confusing and seemingly arbitrary measures which are difficult to enforce or for the public to comply with. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, screening rules around air travel have been reactive instead of proactive, and an ever-changing inconsistent patchwork, with limited publicly available and consistent information on exemptions, compliance measures, and more.
“That trend continues with today’s announcement. From the beginning we have been asking for the government to implement testing at the borders and airports for all travellers from all countries as a more effective way of stopping the spread of COVID-19. The federal government has ignored these calls, while many of our allies have already implemented them. Instead they are choosing to use a confusing set of ever-changing bans and requirements that cause chaos for families and allow the majority of those crossing our borders as essential workers to enter the country without being tested. This approach leaves Canada vulnerable to the introduction of new variants of COVID-19 and punts the responsibility for enforcing quarantine measures to under-resourced law enforcement agencies.
“Today, Conservatives are once again calling upon the Liberal government to do what they should have done six months ago: augment Canada’s arbitrary and inconsistently enforced patchwork of quarantine and screening measures for travellers with pre- and post-arrival COVID-19 testing requirements. We also again call upon the federal government to provide details on how they are tracking potential new variants of COVID-19.
“Conservatives will keep fighting for the health and safety of Canadians and for the certainty they deserve from their federal government.”
For more information:
Office of Hon. Michelle Rempel Garner, P.C., M.P.
Calgary Nose Hill
Office of Shannon Stubbs, M.P.
Office of Pierre Paul-Hus, M.P.