Battle River-Crowfoot MP Damien Kurek. (File photo)

Battle River-Crowfoot MP Damien Kurek. (File photo)

Confusion in Canada’s pandemic response

Opinion

Many of you have contacted my office about the recently announced international travel measures. People are worried about the new testing and quarantine requirements, as well as what that means for them and their rights. I wanted to address these concerns, but also share information that may impact constituents.

As of Feb. 22, air travelers will be required to reserve, prior to arrival in Canada, a three-night stay in a government-authorized hotel. Upon arrival, travelers will be tested for COVID-19 and if they receive a negative result within the three nights, they can continue the rest of their 14-day quarantine at home or approved quarantine location. Also, all travelers, whether arriving by land or air will be required to submit their travel and contact information, including a suitable quarantine plan.

There are possible exceptions and exemptions, however there is limited clarity on what those are. We are told exceptions will include essential workers, medical treatments, and humanitarian reasons. In most cases, travelers will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and we recommend you take steps to determine whether you will qualify before any essential travel.

These measures are in addition to the previous ones related to travel requiring a negative PCR test in order to board a flight from another country.

To emphasize however, the Government of Canada is recommending against any non-essential travel outside of Canada. The most up to date and detailed information can be found at travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions. If this affects you or a family member, consider the possible costs and implications of travel in light of these measures.

The response to these measures has been predictable, as there is growing frustration with the status of Canada’s response to COVID-19. Unfortunately, the Liberals’ have failed to have cohesive and succinct response to COVID-19. Measures implemented have affected every aspect of our daily lives and were initially meant to ensure government had the time needed to develop an action plan for the coronavirus pandemic. Now, a year after the first cases were found in Canada, there is nearly as much uncertainty today as there was a year ago.

I have heard your frustration and concerns. Canada’s Conservatives are working to ensure there is a plan to get Canadians back to work, that your rights are respected, that there is accountability in how government conducts itself, and looking out for the health and interests of Canadians. Finally, I would ask for your feedback, please reach out so I can share it with the government and most effectively represent you.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this column, you are encouraged to write Damien at 4945-50th Street, Camrose, Alberta, T4V 1P9, call 780-608-4600, text 403-575-5625, or e-mail damien.kurek@parl.gc.ca. You can also stay up to date with Damien by following him on social media @dckurek. If you are in need of assistance regarding a Federal Government program, or need assistance and don’t know where to turn, feel free to reach out to MP Kurek’s office.

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