After interviewing passengers during the last several weeks who were flying into Toronto from the U.K., Germany, Pakistan and China, I ventured down to Pearson International Airport once again to interview arrivals flying into Canada from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Yet again I wanted to see what new and enhanced security measures regarding the #coronavirus have been put into place when it comes to screening international passengers touching down in our great Dominion.
For the most part, the answers to my questions were par for the course when compared to the answers from other arrivals from other foreign nations.
I was told that sometimes as opposed to always customs agents handed out pamphlets for passengers to read. I was told sometimes, not always, agents verbally advised passengers of the “new normal“ — i.e., that the 14-day quarantine takes effect immediately (meaning they cannot even pull over for gas or groceries on the way home.)
As per usual, almost no one was subjected to remote temperature-taking. And even though Minister of Health Patricia Hajdu said last week that asymptomatic passengers would be given face masks by customs agents, the reality on the ground was quite different given that almost no one was provided with a mask.
I use the word “almost” regarding the questions pertaining to temperature taking and receiving a mask because one single solitary passenger stressed that his temperature was indeed remotely taken and that he was in fact given a mask by an agent.
But is this this really true?
For starters, he wasn’t wearing or holding a mask.
And a spokeswoman for the Canada Border Services Agency recently informed me that CBSA agents are not taking the temperatures of any arriving passengers. Based on the 2003 SARS outbreak, the spokeswoman said:
“Temperature checks at airports are not an effective measure to prevent the introduction of infectious disease across borders.”
Then again, the arrival from Ethiopia who claimed this was indeed happening at Pearson then went on to praise Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, so perhaps he was simply vying for a future cabinet position with this government?
After all, it seems that being less than truthful is essentially a prerequisite for being part of the Liberal caucus these days. Case in point: just about any statement by Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and Health Minister Patricia Hajdu regarding border control and/or the distribution of masks at airports.
So, yet again the question arises: when — if ever — are the Justin Trudeau Liberals truly going to take this global pandemic seriously, at least when it comes to international travel and border control?