Ontario man forced into Canadian COVID detention camp says it 'feels like prison'

Duesing was forced to stay at a hotel for three days near the airport, where a guard prevented him from leaving his room.


A Scarborough man who recently returned to Canada from abroad has been forced by the government into a quarantine camp, Toronto Sun reports.

"I was told when I arrived [at Pearson International Airport] Sunday night from Charlotte that it was either three days quarantine or go to jail," said Steve Duesing, who picked the three days of quarantine.

Duesing was forced to stay at a hotel for three days near the airport, where a guard prevented him from leaving his room. "There is a guard at the end of the hall," Duesing noted.

Duesing is not allowed to leave his room until he receives the results of a coronavirus test he was forced to take, despite the fact that he paid $130 to take a coronavirus test prior to leaving North Carolina. "I tested negative," he said.

The hotel hosting Duesing has some restaurants, but Duesing is not allowed to order from them. He is instead sent what resembles a prison meal, a tasteless-looking sandwich with water. But that is not the only thing which looks like a prison for Duesing.

When asked if he feels like he is being incarcerated, Duesing said "it feels like that," further noting that he doesn't "have any say in it."

"I was escorted by police to a shuttle bus and taken to this hotel, which is fenced off from the public," he said.

Further, every vehicle which enters the property is rigorously checked and security barriers are in place to prevent him from leaving. A reminder of his confinement is posted in his room. "You must remain in your assigned room and are required to limit face-to-face contact with others outside of your immediate room assignment," a sign reads.

Duesing said, however, that he is relatively lucky. Many of the others on his floor have families which they need to take care of and jobs they need to attend to, but the government is forcefully preventing them, detaining them without trial. "It's very annoying, but I couldn't imagine going through this with a family or having people waiting for me," Duesing said.

While the government may have been able to force Duesing into quarantine, he said he will take a stand when it comes to covering his hotel stay. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has previously stated that travelers arriving from abroad will not only be forced into quarantine camps, but will have to pay for their own stay as well.

"I haven't signed anything, or agreed to pay for anything, and I won't," said Duesing.

Some have criticized the mandatory quarantines as an outrageous violation of civil liberties, while proponents of the measure argue that it is necessary for preventing the spread of coronavirus.


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