COVID-19: Opposition parties call on Trudeau to get tough on border
MONTREAL -- Two of Canada’s opposition parties on Sunday demanded more be done to tighten control of the country’s borders.
The Bloc Quebecois proposed a series of 22 measures aimed at “better managing the points of entry into the country.”
“It’s important that experts mobilize with a clear, documented and firm direction based on science and on official and daily information so we succeed in reducing human costs to their absolute minimum,” party leader Yves-Francois Blanchet said in a statement.
Blanchet said the federal government should establish criteria on which foreign visitors should be permitted access to Canadian territory, such as scientific researchers. Those who aren’t authorized should undergo a screening test or be subject to quarantine.
The Bloc also suggested tougher measures for tourists, including prohibiting non-essential travel abroad, regardless of the destination. They also asked the government to present of framework for airlines prices to prevent them from increasing to the detriment of travelers trying to return to Canada.
Another proposed policy was for Borders Services agents to receive training to detect possible carriers of the virus and the power to force visitors to undergo a quarantine period. Agents would also be provided protective equipment and coronavirus tests.
“Controlling access to points of entry into the territory is not the challenge posed by the pandemic and even less a unique solution but it’s a necessary step to ensure security and restore the confidence of Quebecers and Canadians,” said Blanchet.
The Conservative Party also called on Trudeau to crack down, saying the Liberal government should close Canada’s borders.
“It’s not enough for the government to announce a policy,” said MPs Matt Jeneroux and Pierre Paul-Hus in a statement. “They must also ensure it is applied and that front-line staff have the necessary resources and support.”
The Conservatives said the government should “improve screening measures at airports, ports and land border crossings” and stop “all flights entering and leaving high-risk regions.”