Transport Minister defends use of ArriveCAN app during visit to Windsor

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Canada’s federal Transport Minister, Omar Alghabra, continued to champion the government’s use of the ArriveCAN app during a two-day visit to Windsor, Ontario. Tuesday.

Alghabra reiterated that this is a tool to improve the efficiency of travelers while the need for a vaccination certificate remains in place.

“We did things during the pandemic that I never thought we would do as a country or in the world,” says Alghabra. “And everything we’ve done, everything our government has done, takes into account the health and safety of Canadians. »

This, after a constitutional rights group launched a legal challenge last week against the federal government’s requirement that travelers to Canada use the app and that unvaccinated travelers self-quarantine for 14 days. .

Alghabra adds, “Courts and labor tribunals and other bodies have looked at the rationale for warrants and other public health measures and have found them to be constitutional given the situation we find ourselves in.”

Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra in Windsor, Ont., Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022. (Chris Campbell/CTV News Windsor)

The Minister continued: “I am happy that we have an independent judiciary allowing people to challenge and test things. But I can assure you that whenever we did anything, especially during the pandemic, the priority was to save the lives of Canadians and in a measured and careful way. »

Meanwhile, several community and business leaders in Windsor-Essex continue to point out that they believe the app is hampering the region’s ability to fully recover from the pandemic.

” We’re listening. We want to do what is right,” says Alghabra. “We want to keep Canadians safe. And we also want to make sure we’re improving efficiency and the traveler experience, so we’re certainly listening and working with our stakeholders.

Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierczyk says Alghabra and several other federal ministers have heard similar concerns that are being reiterated in Ottawa.

“Obviously we’ve heard a lot of local residents and local businesses say, ‘Look, this is really a barrier,’” he says.

Kusmierczyk adds, “Border communities have experienced COVID very differently than other Canadian communities.

He says he will continue to reiterate local concerns to the federal government as the application is up for renewal next month.

“I feel like they understand and the ministers are really listening to what our community members are saying and what we’ve been conveying to them,” Kusmierczyk says. “And I will be watching very closely the review of the Order in Council in September for border measures, and we will be paying very close attention to that.”


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