You Be The Judge

Did the Canadian government lie to the people when quarantine hotels were introduced? They wouldn’t do that, would they?

Back in January, when it was made mandatory for returning air travelers to stay in a quarantine hotel, the government said there would be exceptions. The rules were made public, and anyone who felt they qualified was welcome to apply.

Knowing they were disorganized, I waited a couple of months before applying. I knew I had time before my flight.

When I did send a query I got an automated response. Fifty-five days later I was told I could submit my request. I did so immediately.

I thought I made a pretty good case. I didn’t ask to be exempted from quarantine, just from the hotel portion. I quoted extensively from the order-in-council document that established the quarantine, giving the reasons I should be able to quarantine at home.

Two weeks later my request was denied. Except, the wording of the email showed that my request hadn’t actually been read. I was told I must quarantine. I had already agreed to that – it is the expensive hotel portion I was trying to avoid.

So I wrote again, asking for a proper consideration of my case, not an automatic response. That was a month ago. Nothing but silence.

Given that my flight is today, I wrote again on Monday, pointing out that the issue was time sensitive. I also pointed out that the government’s own scientific experts have said there is no reason for the hotel quarantine requirement.

Once again nothing but silence.

Which doesn’t surprise me. I doubt anyone actually looks at any exemption requests, it is all automated and the system is set up to “no.”

In April I lost a close friend to COVID-19. One of his family members had to fly from Africa for the funeral. Attending funerals is one of the reasons you can give to avoid the hotel quarantine. The exemption should have been automatic.

But it wasn’t. There was no exemption, just a mandatory stay in a hotel. So much for compassion. So much for the published rules.

Which has me wondering. Has anyone every been given an exemption to the hotel quarantine? Is the list of exemption possibilities just for show?

It wouldn’t be the first time this government and this Prime Minister (who shares the blame as he made the announcement) has lied to Canadians. One of these days the voters will wake up.

When my plane lands this afternoon I have to have yet another COVID test. Then I have to have a discussion with a public health officer to determine whether I have to go to a hotel to quarantine or not.

I already know the answer. I’ll be told that yes, the experts say it isn’t required, but since I have a room booked I am required to use it.

Nice system – they won’t let you on the plane without a hotel reservation. Somebody is making money here. I wish it was me.

Canada’s worldwide reputation used to be pretty high. As people from other countries see how we have handled this pandemic, it seems to be dropping quickly.

What do you think?

After I wrote this but before I posted it, the government responded, indirectly, to its health experts who say the hotel quarantine system is pointless and should be scrapped.

They increased the fine for non-compliance to $5,000.

I am so glad Justin Trudeau’s pandemic policies are science based. Can you imagine what he would do if he just let his emotions dictate his actions?



  1. Phil allan · · Reply

    It might be worth filing claim against the federal government in small claims court. They seem to be sucking and blowing at the same time. Someone should show that the emperor (soon to be self-proclaimed) ain’t got no clothes… hopefully before the next election.

    It would be interesting to see if a claim for the hotel, meal and other related costs could be recovered in such a manner.

    1. Yes, I had thought of that. Problem is, technically the government is the Crown – and legally you need the Crowd’s permission to sue the Crown.

      Can anyone see Justin Trudeau giving permission for that?

  2. Anonymous · · Reply

    Yeah I have an answer. It’s not about Covid.

  3. Neil Remington Abramson · · Reply

    You could have flown to the closest US destination & taken a limo if it was cheaper than your hotel. No hotel required. This loophole has been widely reported but its closing has not been reported.

    1. Thought about that, except we had a ticket from 2019, though the pandemic rules meant we couldn’t fly to Ottawa. The price of flying to the US was considerable, we would have to quarantine there for 14 days (Canadians already in the US don’t have to do that, which is most of those using the limo option.) and given our luggage situation, the limo option might indeed be more expensive than the hotel.

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