Travel restrictions

Opposition motion to remove travel restrictions denied in House

The Conservative Party’s attempt to overturn the Liberal government’s strong stance on travel restrictions for Canadians has been defeated.

On Monday afternoon, the CPC motion “Rules and Service Levels for Travel” was defeated 202 to 117.

The motion was sponsored by Melissa Lantsman of the Conservative Party, who said citizens are “currently experiencing unacceptable wait times at Canadian airports” and that “current restrictions have been cited by experts as ineffective and contributing to additional delays, costs and confusion”.

Lantsman pressed that Canada’s international allies have already taken steps to lift all COVID-19 related restrictions at airports and other points of entry, saying Canada is “losing trade and economic opportunities. The House called on the Liberal government to “immediately revert to pre-pandemic rules and service levels for travel”.

Before the 3 p.m. vote, the The Conservative Party said current travel warrants are “outdated, unscientific and only harm Canadians and businesses”. The party called on the NDP-Liberal coalition to “follow the science, align with our allies and end the extreme delays.”

Last week, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) apologized for exasperating wait times across the country, citing staff shortages as the main reason. Travelers have since expressed frustration with Canada’s airport’s random COVID-19 testing, increased questions from border officials, and confusion over the country’s mandatory ArriveCAN app due to federal travel requirements. related to the pandemic.

Just minutes after the motion was defeated, Lantsman tweeted that the Liberal government “still hasn’t shared a rationale for its outdated and outdated restrictions”.

Last week Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam was asked about passengers contacting COVID-19 on flights. She said there have been “very few reports” and “extremely rare” cases of transmission on board aircraft in Canada. Tam says officials are learning “more and more” about modern aircraft technology and ventilation and that the ventilation on board aircraft is “actually really good.”

Canada is currently the only country in the world to still ban domestic travel for unvaccinated citizens. Various countries around the world, including New Zealand and Australia – two countries with the strictest COVID-19 requirements at the height of the pandemic – are now allowing their unvaccinated citizens to travel abroad.