Trudeau dismisses Ontario's call for stricter land border quarantine rules

Joanna Estrada
May 1, 2021

After Ford's new conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he stands behind the current protocols in place at both airport and land border crossings.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones have formally made the request in a letter to the federal ministers of public safety and health.

Health Canada now classifies the B.1.617 first identified in India as a variant of interest rather than a variant of concern, because the public health agency doesn't have enough data to definitively say this strain is more transmissible or more unsafe. The premier said it is time for the federal government to shut the airport down.

"The irony here is that by gathering people are putting each other at risk, spreading further cases of COVID-19 and extending the time in which we will have to be faced with restrictions", said Trudeau. The Ford government would have to send a list of institutions that will no longer accept worldwide travellers.

The CRSB is only available for four weeks and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has yet to agree or express interest to Ontario's plan.

Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam also said Friday that most COVID-19 cases across the country are now a variant of concern.

"Not enough is being done to keep these deadly variants out of Canada", said Ford.

But land and air borders are federal jurisdiction.

Ford did not address his request to bar the entry of worldwide students at the news conference.

Trudeau says he's not considering barring worldwide students from entering Canada at this point, but he's willing to work "more narrowly" with Ontario.

According to CBC News, the premier has sent a letter to the federal government asking for the government-sanctioned mandatory three-day hotel quarantine at airports to be extended to the land border.

"Too many people are exploiting the weak measures at our land border to get around the hotel quarantine", he said.

"We know that importation through the borders is extremely low in terms of cases in the country", he said.

As it stands now, air travellers entering Canada are required to quarantine for at least three days in a specially designated hotel.

Ontario, in particular, has been struggling with a new wave of infections led by variants, prompting Ottawa to dispatch soldiers this week to hospitals to help care for a record number of critical Covid patients.

Ford says he "will not let this issue go because too much is at stake".

Health officials said there were 295 new COVID-19 cases and one death related to the virus.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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