The Trudeau government’s decision to end the vaccine mandate for domestic travel is “not enough to resolve the situation at Canada’s airports,” according to the National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC).
Following the government’s announcement that it would no longer require Canadians to disclose their vaccine status in order to board a plane or train in Canada, the NACC released a statement calling on the government to take further action.
“The government’s decision to suspend the national vaccine mandate for air travel and transportation employees is a positive step… However – today’s changes are not enough to resolve the situation at Canada’s airports and the complexity travellers face,” said NACC CEO Suzanne Acton-Gervais.
Specifically, the NACC calls on the government to end the vaccine requirement for international travellers arriving in Canada, bringing Canada’s travel requirements in line with more than 100 other countries.
The NACC calls on the Trudeau government to extend the pause on arriving travellers mandated to take a Covid-19 test, simplify the ArriveCan health checks and provide stability for travellers and airline employees.
Canada’s airports have been in a state of disarray since air travel started to regain its popularity as more and more Canadians are becoming comfortable with travelling in spite of Covid concerns.
While the Trudeau government has eased some of the Covid-era travel restrictions, the vaccine mandate for travellers entering Canada and mandatory masking on planes remains.
In light of the government’s initial imposition of the travel restrictions in late October 2021, multiple legal challenges arose, including suits from People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier, former Newfoundland premier Brian Peckford and businessman Shawn Rickard.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing both Bernier and Peckford – arguing that the Trudeau government’s mandate violates their mobility rights protected under section 6 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Rickard’s case is based on his inability to see his family in the United Kingdom and the fact that the government’s mandates aren’t sufficiently based on science.
All cases challenging the travel mandate are expected to be heard by the courts in September.
True North’s Elie Cantin-Nantel says Bernier and Peckford will continue to pursue their cases against the government.
Pressure has been mounting for the Trudeau government to drop its vaccine mandates, as MPs in the Liberal caucus have reported that a “massive majority” of the caucus wanted the mandates to be dropped.