The Canadian Airport Council has slammed federal Covid mandates as the cause of ongoing chaos with air travel, saying the measures quadruple the amount of time it takes a passenger to board.
Comments by the council’s interim president Monette Pasher poked a hole in the Trudeau government’s claims about air travel delays plaguing airports throughout Canada.
“We’re seeing that we clearly cannot have these public health requirements and testing at our borders as we get back to regular travel,” said Pasher.
The council has called for the federal government to ditch random testing and medical questions to help reduce delays. According to Pasher, these additional requirements quadruple the amount of time it takes before a passenger can board a flight.
“Getting back to regular travel with these health protocols and testing in place, the two can’t coexist without a significant pressure and strain on our system,” said Pasher.
Conservative MPs blasted Liberal Health Minister Omar Alghabra in the House of Commons for making Canada the strictest country when it comes to pandemic travel restrictions at a time when most nations around the world are doing away with such stringent measures.
In Canada, millions of unvaccinated Canadians are still not permitted to board a domestic or international flight.
“We have massive lineups at airport security. Passengers are being held on the tarmac, and there are missed connections, costly delays and outdated COVID testing,” said Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman on Monday. “Many Canadians still cannot even travel. The reason, according to the minister, is that Canadians have forgotten how to travel and that they are out of practice.”
“Is the minister going to take responsibility for his government’s failure, or will he continue to blame Canadian travellers?”
Alghabra characterized Lantsman’s claims as misinformation.
“It is not a surprise that a Conservative member of Parliament would repackage and misinform Canadians about what I said,” he responded. “Having said that, it is really important to acknowledge the good news today, which is that more and more Canadians are travelling. That is good news.”
“We are seeing that the surge for the demand to travel is putting a lot of pressure on our airports and our security systems. We are making sure that we increase resources. We are working with airports. We are working with airlines to address this issue. This is a priority.”