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MP Rempel Garner Slams Trudeau Government Delays on Alternative COVID-19 Testing Options

September 17, 2020

For immediate release

OTTAWA, ON – The Hon. Michelle Rempel Garner, Shadow Minister for Health, issued the following statement regarding the Trudeau government’s delays in approving new COVID-19 testing options in Canada:

“As we see coronavirus cases resurge across Canada, Justin Trudeau needs to explain why he has made virtually no progress on reviewing at-home testing and has been slow to review other alternative testing devices, as useful additional tools to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Other countries have outpaced us on this. The UK has been offering free at-home tests. The US Food and Drug Administration had given the go ahead on a home test kit back in April. Germany also has commercial tests available online. If other countries can do it, what is delaying Canada? What reason does Trudeau have to block these tests that other highly developed economies do not?

“To me, it seems like the answer is crass politics and Trudeau wasting time to read the political tea leaves. For example, back in June the Trudeau government said they would not be looking at at-home test kits. In recent weeks, Trudeau has backtracked on this statement and now the government is reviewing at-home tests. Just like on border controls and masks, Trudeau has flip flopped for no good reason, wasted precious time, and likely helped the virus spread. His deadly decisions have cost, and will cost, Canadians their lives.

“Canadians have done their part for months. They’ve taken hours and hours off of work to wait in line for a highly invasive coronavirus test, or quarantined for days while they wait for their results or the results of their contacts. However, unlike Trudeau, they face daily challenges like living paycheque to paycheque – if they have a paycheque at all – and for them, Trudeau’s bourgeois “we just need you to quarantine” attitude is the modern day equivalent of telling them to eat cake. Testing is the key to protecting both lives and jobs, and on this front Canadians are paying the cost of Trudeau’s failures. Canadians deserve a new plan. Trudeau needs to do his job, get off his rear, spur Health Canada bureaucrats to overcome the inertia of bureaucracy and immediately work to find a safe solution. Enough is enough.”