Ottawa, ON – Melissa Lantsman, Conservative Shadow Minister for Transport, and Luc Berthold, Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition and Québec Political Lieutenant, released the following statement on today’s Conservative Opposition Day Motion:
“The Liberal government’s outdated COVID-19 protocols at airports are causing extreme delays, line-ups, bottlenecks, and missed connections.
“As allies across the world, like the European Union and the United States have loosened rules for passengers on flights and in airports, Canadian travelers are still subjected to unnecessary protocols that are causing severe delays.
“In some instances, passengers have been stuck on tarmacs for over 75 minutes as customs have become so backed up that there is not enough physical space to hold lineups.
“Before the pandemic, it took 15-30 seconds for a Canada Border Services Agency officer to clear an international arriving passenger. The government’s COVID-19 health screening questions have increased the processing time by two to four times – sometimes taking over two minutes. Airports directly cite government policies as the reason for these delays.
“When asked for a timeline of when these issues might be resolved, the Liberal Minister of Transport gave none. Instead of taking responsibility for the delays, the Minister blamed ‘out-of-practice travellers’ for causing delays at security checkpoints.
“The aviation and tourism industry in Canada has been hit hard – we need to be supporting economic recovery in Canada instead of needlessly restricting travel. Our global reputation as a top travel location is at risk.
“Industry experts from a wide range of disciplines are calling on the government to drop travel restrictions. These restrictions have many impacts on Canadian travel times, our economy, and the country’s international reputation.
“The NDP-Liberal government has an opportunity to show Canadians that they are following the science and are serious about preventing these unacceptable delays by supporting our Conservative motion and returning to pre-pandemic rules and service levels for travel. As travel returns to pre-pandemic levels, airports should too.”
The Conservative Opposition Day motion can be found here.