The Trudeau government has voted against a Conservative motion to end Covid restrictions for travellers and revert to pre-pandemic rules.
Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman tabled the motion, which stated that “Canadians are currently experiencing unacceptable wait times at Canadian airports, even though airports are still operating at reduced capacity.”
“Canada’s international allies have moved to lift COVID-19 restrictions at airports and other points of entry,” the motion continues. “The Conservative motion calls on the government “to immediately revert to pre-pandemic rules and service levels for travel.”
The motion was defeated on Monday afternoon with 117 voting in favour and 202 voting against. All non-Conservative MPs – except for Liberal MP for Louis-Hebert Joel Lightbound and Independent MP Kevin Vuong – voted against.
Multiple airline councils have called on the federal government to end its Covid mandates to deal with the ongoing chaos with air travel.
The Canadian Airport Council has called for the federal government to ditch random testing and medical questions to help reduce delays.
“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 the interim president of the Canadian Airport Council Pasher Monette.
According to Pasher, additional requirements quadruple the amount of time it takes before a passenger can board a flight.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is also demanding that the Trudeau government drop all COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions to reduce crippling delays at Canadian airports.
“It is clear that people want to travel,” said IATA regional vice-president for the Americas Peter Cerda. “We can therefore ill afford to have passengers subjected to unacceptable wait times both on arrival in the country or on departure.”
“The relevant authorities must urgently consider removing the last remaining travel-related COVID-19 restrictions and work with the industry on policies and processes which will allow passengers to pass through airports with no undue delay.”