Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is blasting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after his family’s frustrating experience with COVID-19 testing and calling on the federal government to greenlight rapid methods being used in other countries.
O’Toole revealed this week he and his family were in self-isolation after a staffer with whom he had recently travelled tested positive for COVID-19. He released a statement Thursday saying his family was “turned away” from an assessment centre in the Ottawa Public Health Unit, after waiting in line for hours, because the centre had reached capacity.
O’Toole, his wife, and two children were tested Thursday morning at a facility in Gatineau, Que., where the House of Commons makes testing available for MPs and their families.
“The Trudeau Liberals have created this mess by refusing to approve other testing methods - despite all our allies having, for months, multiple tests including much faster and less invasive methods,” O’Toole said in the release.
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O’Toole said he and his family will remain in isolation. His office would not tell HuffPost Canada if the Tory leader will be in attendance for next week’s throne speech.
Though provinces are responsible for COVID-19 testing, O’Toole’s release made no mention of the Ontario government, which is pledging to tackle the issue of long lineups at centres.
Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott suggested to reporters Tuesday that the hours-long waits reported in certain cities this week, including Toronto, were linked to a spike in demand for testing as children go back to school.
“We did anticipate an increase in the lineups but perhaps not to this extent,” Elliott said Tuesday.
Ontario Heritage Minister Lisa McLeod tweeted Thursday the province will help open three pop-up testing sites in Ottawa this week.
Tory health critic Michelle Rempel Garner also released a statement that put the blame...