Dec 22, 2020
By Jane Brown
The Trudeau Liberals are taking issue with comments made by Ontario’s premier who says 64,000 passengers arriving at Pearson every week are leaving the airport unchecked for COVID-19.
“We’ve been in talks with the federal government for weeks upon weeks about doing testing at the airport, and we’ve been great partners, we’ve collaborated all the way. Why they’re ignoring us on this is beyond me,” Doug Ford told his Monday news conference.
Ford also announced that the province would begin roadside testing of passengers leaving Pearson, regardless of whether they get assistance from the feds.
In response to Ford’s accusations about a porous situation at Pearson, Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu says she’s surprised by his border comments and says her government has been working with the provincial PCs on his request for a testing pilot project at Pearson.
She adds that international travel is far down the list of sources of COVID spread with 1.3 percent of all known COVID-19 cases in Ontario originating from travel outside the country.
The conversation has turned to international travel because of a new COVID-19 variant in the U.K. which prompted the federal Liberals earlier this week to ban flights from the United Kingdom for at least 72 hours.
On that topic, the chief executive of BioNtech says the German pharmaceutical company is confident that its COVID-19 vaccine with Pfizer works against the new variant, but further studies are needed to be completely sure.