It’s been about a week since those new (and not-so-improved) quarantine hotels went into operation thanks to the latest Justin Trudeau order in council late in February. And if one were to give this program a letter grade, surely it would be F — as in F for Fiasco.
After all, what have we witnessed thus far? How about a 1-800 quarantine hotel hotline that simply does not work. Surly service. Grotesque food that not even a dog would consume. Substandard hotel room accommodations. Absolutely outrageous room rates — typically, about $2,000 for a three-night stay. And, most shockingly of all, allegations that some of the jailors at these lovely incarceration hotels are sexually assaulting female inmates – er, I mean “guests.”
I recently had the chance to interview Cristina Teixeira of Bowmanville, Ont. Cristina and her daughter, as well as her brother, recently flew to Portugal. But this was certainly no pleasure trip. Quite the opposite: unfortunately, Cristina’s father had passed away, and she and her family members travelled overseas to make the necessary funeral arrangements. It was indeed an essential trip, but when Cristina and family returned to Toronto, they didn’t receive compassion; rather, aggravation and exploitation was the order of the day.
For starters, her hotel bill was more than $3,400 for three nights at the Crowne Plaza Hotel near the Toronto Airport. The thing is, the typical room rate at this hotel should be about $159 per night. And get this: it turns out that Cristina and her family only had to stay one night — but that didn’t matter as they are on the hook for the three night “package price.”
Cristina said it was impossible to get any answers about the hotel quarantine program and officials refused to allow her to quarantine at home on compassionate grounds upon arrival to Canada.
She says some of the food served to them resembled “slop” and for some reason, a staff member at the hotel demanded her daughter delete any cellphone images of the hotel (prompting the question: why the secrecy?)
We paid a visit to the Crowne Plaza after our interview with Cristina and it made for a surreal sight. For starters, members of the general public are also staying at this hotel, so how is this a quarantine facility in the truest sense of the word in the first place? We also found a guest who could not speak English on the 11th floor who seemed to be wandering about in a disorientated state. And while we appreciated getting an interview with the hotel’s manager, he didn’t really provide tangible answers to our queries.
Bottom line: whether or not one agrees with the quarantine hotel program, the fact remains: law-abiding, tax-paying Canadian citizens who are being incarcerated here deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, not disrespected and price-gouged. The current state of affairs regrading this initiative by the Trudeau Liberals is completely unacceptable and downright shameful.