A person is seen in the window of a room at a government-authorized COVID-19 quarantine hotel in Richmond, B.C. on Sunday, February 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A person is seen in the window of a room at a government-authorized COVID-19 quarantine hotel in Richmond, B.C. on Sunday, February 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

MPs to hear from ministers, officials on safety of returning travellers in quarantine

Two women were allegedly sexually assaulted during mandatory COVID-19 quarantine

MPs will hear from federal ministers and officials as early as this week on the safety of returning travellers after two women were allegedly sexually assaulted during mandatory COVID-19 quarantine.

The House of Commons public safety committee voted to hold a hearing with the federal public safety and health ministers as well as officials from the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency and Public Health Agency of Canada.

The Opposition Conservatives proposed the hearing following reports that a quarantine screening officer as well as a returning traveller had been charged in separate sexual assault cases that allegedly occurred last month.

Last week the Conservatives called for suspension of the obligation for travellers to quarantine in hotels until better safety measures are in place, as well as an end to the use of security guards, who they say haven’t been properly evaluated, to check on people quarantining at home.

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet said he doesn’t necessarily believe the quarantine measures need to be suspended, but he wanted to see improvements to ensure the safety of travellers under quarantine.

Liberal MP John McKay, the committee chairman, said Monday the hearing could take place this week but cautioned it would be a challenge to schedule witnesses in time.

The Canadian Press

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