Ottawa, ON – Michelle Ferreri, Conservative Shadow Minister for Tourism, 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 the continuing chaos facing travellers at Canadian airports:

“Our airports have become an international embarrassment.

“Minister Alghabra is so desperate to mislead Canadians that wait times at Canada’s worst-hit airport are improving, he’s cheering the fact that nearly 25,000 passengers are waiting longer than 15 minutes stuck on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport.

“Last-minute cancelled flights, hours-long wait times at customs and security, and tens of thousands of passengers still stuck waiting on the tarmac are nothing to brag about.

“The NDP-Liberal government is going out of its way to ensure these long delays will not be resolved by this summer’s busy travel season. By voting against a Conservative motion last week that called on a return to pre-pandemic regulations they are consciously blocking a return to previous levels of service at our airports. Ignoring industry experts and choosing politics over common sense is absolutely shameful. Canadians simply can’t trust this government is taking the issue seriously when they continue to ignore out-of-date travel restrictions.

“According to one media report, even the majority of Liberal MPs would like to see Trudeau drop the travel restrictions. Especially the vaccine requirement for domestic travel. However, when they push their own leadership on why these requirements are still necessary, ‘there’s never any straight or particularly convincing answer,’ one MP was quoted as saying.

“Canadians deserve an honest answer from Trudeau why he is risking our international reputation, and condemning our tourism sector, by refusing to return to pre-pandemic travel restrictions. Especially when the data shows lifting these restrictions would be a direct influx of travellers to boost our recovering tourism sector.

“Conservatives will continue to fight for our tourism sector and what’s left of our international reputation among travellers. The NDP-Liberal government must follow our allies’ examples, industry experts, and the needs of the tourism sector by refusing to acknowledge the obvious issue and return to pre-pandemic travel rules today.”