Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons.

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons.

MP Morrison responds to federal throne speech, pushes for rapid testing at airports

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian criticizes throne speech, wants COIVD-19 testing at borders, airports

The federal Liberals passed a confidence vote with support from the federal NDP following throne speech in Ottawa earlier this month — a speech that lays out governing priorities over the parliamentary session.

However, the speech was opposed by the Conservative Party, as Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison said it fell short in a number of areas, particularly in failing to address Western alienation, increased oversight in the wake of the WE Charity scandal, and COVID-19 supports.

“Really the throne speech didn’t have a solid plan on how we are going to recover and that’s really what we wanted to see,” said Morrison, in an interview with Black Press. “Not just the talk of spending money, but where are the tax dollars coming from that are going to pay for hundreds of billions of dollars of debt?”

Had the confidence vote failed, a federal election could have been a likely outcome.

While some provincial jurisdictions are calling elections in the pandemic era, such as British Columbia and New Brunswick, Morrison said now is not the time for a federal election.

“First of all, COVID is number one on everybody’s mind right now, we all know that,” Morrison said. “Number two is jobs — we need to stimulate the economy to get people back to work. Having an election right now that’s going to cost another hundreds of millions of dollars isn’t the answer. We really want to work with the government to get the economy stimulated so we can get people back to work.”

An advocate for rapid testing to spur international travel, Morrison says Air Canada has purchased 25,000 rapid COVID-19 tests that produce a positive result in five minutes or a negative result in under 15 minutes.

However, the airline company is not allowed to use the tests as an alternative to a mandatory 14-day quarantine for international travellers, even though the tests are approved by Health Canada.

“It’s unbelievable. Where’s the common sense? If they pay for it themselves, which they do, and they want to rapid test people coming to Canada who, once they test negative, wouldn’t have to 14-day quarantine, why wouldn’t we do that with everybody coming into Canada?”

He added that rapid testing should also be available at ports of entry on the Canadian border as well, to quickly determine if travellers are COVID-19 free or if they need to quarantine.

“It strikes as odd that a Health Canada approved product isn’t automatically put out there for the airlines, whether it’s WestJet or Air Canada and I’m hoping that some common sense will prevail through Health Canada and the minister to allow WestJet and Air Canada to do this testing.”

International flights are still restricted to four airports across the country in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Brittny Anderson. Photo: Submitted
BREAKING: NDP’s Brittny Anderson named provisional winner in Nelson-Creston

The final result won’t be known until November due to mail-in ballots

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

The Town of Creston’s conceptual design for Market Park. Photo: Town of Creston
Town of Creston preparing grant application to go towards Market Park development

The grant is through B.C.’s Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure program, where $90 million will be distributed throughout the province

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read