Canadian media have reported on sexual assaults in Prime Minister Trudeau's new quarantine hotels. A woman told CTV news that she was assaulted on February 17 in Montreal by a fellow traveller forced to quarantine in the same hotel who entered her room. The man faces one count of sexual assault, one count of breaking and entering, and one count of criminal harassment. Some travellers report that the locks were removed from their hotel room doors, leaving the occupants inside vulnerable.
While sexual assault is infinitely worse than mere discomfort and inconvenience, reports also abound of unsanitary conditions, lack of security, poor food, and little adherence to the protocols which governments claim as necessary to avoid catching COVID.
Eileen MacKinnon was informed, upon checking in at Montreal's Marriott In-Terminal Hotel, that $125 of the $513 nightly fee was for food and beverages. However, to her surprise, the hotel staff also informed her that there was no food or beverage at the hotel. Ms. MacKinnon was told to order food from online delivery services using her credit card, and was promised that she would be reimbursed for that amount upon checkout.
She did not receive any refund for food. Ms. MacKinnon was given a pamphlet stating that she could take two 20-minute walks every day. She reports taking six walks every day, and her movement was never questioned; there were no security guards on her floor, or anywhere visible in the hotel, to keep track of people moving in and out of the facility.
An individual who wishes to remain anonymous contacted the Justice Centre about her stay at a hotel near the Toronto airport. She provided the Justice Centre with photos of her dirty, unsanitary room, including empty alcohol bottles, hair on the toilet seat, hair on the bedspread, and a dirty, uncleaned coffee machine. She was required to pick up food in the lobby; there was no contactless delivery to her room. On two occasions, breakfast consisted of a semi-frozen sandwich that was not edible and no utensils to eat with.
Global News has also reported on chaos, long waits, expensive bills, and no help. One man with diabetes, Ray Truesdale, received no food even after 24 hours. No one at the hotel answered the phone. He recorded video of a hotel lobby full of angry detainees, which is the exact opposite of what the government might intend by having people "quarantine."
CTV News also carried footage about travellers who were angry at not being fed lunch. Many had been on flights for 14 hours and reported poor service, minimal security and meals that were late and cold, with bills of more than $1,000. Cristina Teixeira, who was returning from her father's funeral in Portugal, was forced into a government quarantine hotel and billed $3,500 for one night in a quarantine hotel. Even with negative COVID test results back early, travellers are still reporting being charged for the cost of the entire three-day stay.
The Toronto Sun's Joe Warmington also reported on "Nightmare Hotels" and the "Lineup for the Covid jail." Video footage from the Toronto Sun showed people packed tightly in hallways, waiting in small rooms for hours with other strangers.
Learning of these conditions, the House of Common's Federal Public Safety Committee announced March 1 that it will carry out a "study into the safety and security of new mandatory hotel quarantine sites."
Where is the government's science to support these measures?
The biggest question is why we need lockdown measures in the first place. If COVID were anywhere close to being as dangerous as the Spanish Flu or Bubonic Plague, everyone would voluntarily take strict and severe measures to protect themselves, without a need for bureaucratic edicts backed by fines and penalties. Roughly 90 percent of Canadians have no reason to fear Covid, which is survived by over 99 percent of people who get sick from this virus.
Politicians failed to protect the vulnerable sick and elderly in long-term care homes who make up about 80 percent of COVID deaths, and instead pushed millions of otherwise healthy Canadians into isolation, loneliness, unemployment, poverty and misery. Obviously, the government's lockdown measures in the past 12 months have failed to keep COVID out of nursing homes, and the federal government has not produced any evidence of a link between nursing home deaths and international travel.
Moreover, governments at all levels have failed to provide the public with persuasive scientific and medical evidence that healthy, asymptomatic people are significant spreaders of this virus.
Even if asymptomatic people were dangerous spreaders, what was wrong with (or inadequate about) requiring people to quarantine at home for 14 days? How is the spread of COVID stopped, or even slowed down, by requiring people to first spend three days in chaotic, dirty and dangerous hotels before returning home? Further, those who have been outside of Canada in the preceding 14 days are already banned from nursing homes, not to mention banks, stores, and non-emergency medical services.
Politicians use "science" and "evidence-based public policy" as slogans, designed to intimidate people into accepting irrational and unscientific policies. If we can't trust the "science" behind arbitrary and dangerous quarantine hotel policies, why should we believe governments when they claim that "science" is behind other government lockdown measures?
Lawyer John Carpay is president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which represents Canadians who have been confined to quarantine hotels and are challenging this government policy in Federal Court.