Yukon Weekly

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Travel problems could be resolved in a “matter of weeks,” as per the tourism ministry

Travel problems may be remedied in a "matter of weeks," according to the tourism ministry.

Key Takeaways:

  • The federal government is focusing on resolving terrible wait times at major airports in a “matter of weeks,” according to Randy Boissonnault, Canada’s Minister of Tourism.
  • On the other hand, Air Canada told CTVNews.ca that it aims to operate at a 20% lower capacity this summer than before the pandemic.
  • The federal government had already exempted international travelers with a connecting aircraft from random testing.

Randy Boissonnault, Canada’s Minister of Tourism, said the federal government focuses on fixing severe waits at main airports in a “matter of weeks.”

On CTV’s Question Period, Boissonnault expressed his displeasure with tales of Canadians waiting hours to pass through regular travel checkpoints, particularly at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

“I’m going to tell it how it is. I’m not pleased with the current situation. I don’t want Canadians to have to queue. I don’t want international passengers to be stranded on the runway. “We’ve got a problem, we need to fix it, and we’re going all-in on this,” he explained.

When asked when travelers may expect to move more freely, the minister stated they’re working to remedy the situation before the summer travel season begins.

“I’d like to see this completed in a few weeks, not a half-year or a year…

Also read: COVID-19 mask regulations in Ontario are slated to expire this weekend

“I want to ensure that this summer season is remembered for the positive experiences that people have once they’ve left the airport, not for the terrible experiences that people have while they’re at the airport,” he said.

The federal government has sought to reassure the public by stating that the Canada Border Services Agency and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority are increasing recruitment to revert to pre-pandemic levels of manpower.

Individual airlines have also stated that they are working to resolve issues with staffing and scheduling.

On the other hand, Air Canada informed CTVNews.ca that it plans to operate at a 20% lower capacity this summer than before the pandemic.

Ottawa stated in a statement released on Wednesday that while the vast majority of airports throughout the country are not experiencing the same levels of delays as Pearson, significant improvements have been made.

According to the statement, “just 3% of all passengers at Pearson and Vancouver International Airports are presently waiting more than 30 minutes in line.”

Opposition parties have demanded that the federal government eliminate the remaining COVID-19 public health regulations at airports, citing “unnecessary stress points.”

Travel problems may be remedied in a "matter of weeks," according to the tourism ministry.
Travel problems may be remedied in a “matter of weeks,” according to the tourism ministry. Image from The Globe and The Mail

Transport Canada stated Friday that mandatory randomized testing for the fully vaccinated would be temporarily suspended at all airports from June 11 to June 30. Travelers who have not been immunized will be screened on the spot.

“The Canadian government realizes the negative impact that long lines at several Canadian airports are making on travelers. As we approach the summer peak season, we continue to engage with airports, airlines, baggage handlers, as well as other partners to adopt measures to reduce delays. “The department has issued a statement.

All testing, even for unvaccinated travelers, will be done off-site beginning in July.

International visitors with a connecting flight had already been excused from random testing by the federal government. Other measures, including COVID-19 vaccine regulations and the ArriveCAN app’s mandatory use, are still in effect.

“We understand that more work has to be done, particularly for foreign arrivals at our main airports,” the administration stated. “We will continue engaging with all government and partners tiers to eliminate travel system delays.”

Source: CTV News

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