Canada’s transport minister says travel restrictions unlikely to be lifted by summer

Canada’s transport minister, Omar Alghabra, refuses to say when the vaccine mandate will be lifted for air travel.

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Since October 30th, all travellers boarding flights and trains in Canada are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID.

Unvaccinated Canadians are not allowed to use air or rail transportation within or from their own country. 

Any traveller coming into Canada must also be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The Trudeau government also requires travellers to wear a mask during flights, despite the fact that most airports and provinces across the country have lifted their mask mandate.

As most industrialized countries have relaxed their COVID-19 mandates in the wake of the Omicron variant, the Trudeau government has refused to remove restrictions.

Evidence shows fully vaccinated individuals can also be infected with COVID and spread it, demonstrating that vaccine mandates are not useful at stopping the spread of the virus. 

When asked by a journalist whether the Trudeau government was reconsidering vaccine mandates, Canada’s transport minister Omar Alghabra refused to say the mandates would be lifted by summer. 

“Like every other public health measure that we’ve put in place, the Cabinet debates it and looks at the evidence before it, and consults experts including Dr. Tam, and they will make a decision. And like we’ve done in the past, many of these measures are reviewed on a regular basis, and sometimes we make adjustments”, Alghabra said. 

“Should I bet on the obligation to be lifted for this summer?”, the journalist asked.

“Don’t use crypto”, Minister Alghabra joked awkwardly in reference to the use of the word “bet” by the journalist. 

“I really can’t give you a firm date because it’s an ongoing process but we’ve demonstrated in the past that when we think it’s the time to adjust a certain measure, we do it really quickly”, he added. 

The Trudeau government’s measures have generated lots of frustration for workers as airports have become overwhelmed with the requirements. 

Ex-NHL defenseman Ryan Whitney was stranded at the Pearson airport for days due to the delays, prompting the popular “Spittin’ Chiclets” Barstool podcast to release a “Pearson Airport S*cks” shirt.

Representatives of the airline industry have also come out and spoke against Trudeau’s mandates.

“Vaccine mandate for air travellers and employees needs to be dropped. As vaccines are not preventing the spreading of the virus since #omicron, there is no more logic to maintain it. This will also relax some of the operational challenges at the airports”, WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech wrote on May 31.

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