- Blair said he discussed his order with the president of the Canada Border Services Agency on Tuesday.
- The Conservative Party published a statement on Tuesday, pushing the government to take action and apologize.
The Minister of Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair, said the confusion at the Canada-US land border that resulted in some B.C. homeowners being penalized for failing to submit a negative PCR test after traveling south to retrieve necessary goods has been rectified.
Blair said he spoke with the president of the Canada Border Services Agency on Tuesday to clarify his order, which allows fully vaccinated B.C. residents in border towns to pick up food, medicine, or gas in the United States as a result of the province’s devastating flooding to avoid having to take the COVID-19 test.
Some people have reported receiving a substantial fine for breaking the Quarantine Act.
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“Actually, yeah,” Blair answered when asked if the problem had been resolved.
“That guidance was conveyed to the border services agencies,” he said, adding that “obviously some clarity was required, and that has now been provided.”
Over the weekend, Blair declared that the Act would be waived for certain persons.
It pushes back the expiration date of the PCR test for Canadians traveling overseas for less than 72 hours, which was due to begin on Nov. 30.
The Conservative Party published a statement on Tuesday, pushing the government to take action and apologize.
“Conservatives are alarmed to learn that flood-affected B.C. people are being charged for COVID-19 testing to cross the border for necessities like gas and food,” according to a statement from MPs Ed Fast and Brad Vis.
“The last thing such residents need is fine while they are dealing with floods and shortages of everything from food to gas.” That is why the Conservatives in Canada are urging the Trudeau Liberals to apologize to residents who were punished for obeying the rules laid forth by the Minister of Emergency Preparedness and to cancel the fines formally.”
The fines were imposed by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), according to Blair, who said the authority is now investigating individual instances.
When asked if tickets given to Canadians will be revoked, the minister replied it would be up to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
The Conservatives and the New Democratic Party have requested an emergency debate in the House of Commons on the government’s reaction to the crisis that has forced thousands of people to flee their homes.
Blair said rebuilding the province’s most severely damaged areas will require a “substantial investment,” but he wouldn’t put a dollar figure on the effort.
The government granted a request for assistance from British Columbia, which has dispatched over 500 troops to the region to assist with ground and air operations.
“We’re prepared to scale up as needed with the resources we’ve been able to give through the Canadian Armed Forces and other methods.” Blair stated, “We’re working very closely with them.”
Source: CTV News
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