Justin Trudeau is holding me prisoner. I am not alone, he has had thousands of other Canadians locked up without charges, without trial, without conviction.
That this “quarantine hotel” is somewhat comfortable does not mitigate the fact this is essentially an internment camp. There is no public health reason for my being here.
The government though thinks locking up travelers is a key component to their re-election strategy. They are doing it to keep Canadians “safe” and to distract people from their bad management. It might work for them.
Canada’s pandemic-era quarantine hotels are not about health and public safety. The government’s own experts say so. They are about creating an appearance of doing something while in reality doing nothing.
The truth was obvious when the requirement for air travelers to quarantine at their own expense was announced in January. Within a week it was announced that the government had signed contracts with four different companies to provide “security” at their new internment camps. It was another month before they managed to get the camps operational. Hiring the jailors was their first priority.
With the cost of a three-day stay initially estimated to be $2,000 per person, it seemed this was designed to punish people who decided to travel when the government advised against it. Making the announcement, Trudeau sounded irritated that people would even consider not taking his advice.
I find it morally reprehensible to require prisoners to pay for the cost of their own incarceration. Canada doesn’t require it for criminals. I have committed no crime, but am being treated as if I have. Trudeau may think I shouldn’t be traveling – but he voiced no such objection when I left the country in 2017.
Nor, despite shelling out billions of tax dollars to Canadians affected by the pandemic, was he offering money to help me stay in Germany once my lease ended. Other people live in what used to be my apartment. Why shouldn’t I come home?
In a pandemic we can all expect some inconvenience as we work together for the common good. I am in agreement that citizens need to do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
However do object to unequal treatment under the law and a government that systematically violates my constitutional rights without justification. If travelers are a risk, who do those entering by land not face the same restrictions as air travelers? Why does the air crew that flew me here not have to quarantine? They have been in contact with far more people than I have.
It wouldn’t be political would it? Air travelers are a much smaller subset of those who cross the Canadian border. Those crossing the land border would vote against the Liberals if their rights were curtailed. Better not to annoy them – they are enough to affect the outcome of the election. The 33 people on my flight don’t worry Liberal strategists at all.
This government is all about optics, not sound policy. Which may explain why its pandemic policy has made Canada the butt of jokes worldwide.
I could have just walked away from the airport and defied the government to fine me. Except, my wife wasn’t all that thrilled with the idea. When balancing my civil rights with marital harmony, the choice was a no-brainer.
I’m just hoping the prison food is edible.