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Any new information on the latest announced travel restrictions please post here

mahtax

Star Member
Dec 26, 2019
119
60
I'm pretty sure that every single communication has been that this applies for non-essential travel.
I didn't say essential. I said non-discretionary. That's the word the government is using to describe people coming to Canada to study, or work, or to become permanent residents.

As you yourself point out, Essential right now is extremely narrowly defined. You're a trucker, or you work in the transport industry, or in the medical industry installing vital infrastructure.

So why talk of "going on a vacation we could have postponed" as if that describes people on this forum?

right now, travelling to rejoin family or take up work is considered non-essential, but who knows if it will be considered as such for the purposes of the Hotel au Fed.
It's almost definitely going to be considered non-discretionary/non-optional (so people will be let into the country) but also not essential (so no waiving of the 2000$ tax). After all that's how it is currently.


The language in the announcement does seem to indicate there will be exceptions. So maybe there will be something along those lines once the details come out.
I doubt it - Trudeau said there would be "very few exceptions". I really doubt he means us. But there is always hope.
 

k.h.p.

VIP Member
Mar 1, 2019
8,361
2,007
Canada
I didn't say essential. I said non-discretionary. That's the word the government is using to describe people coming to Canada to study, or work, or to become permanent residents.

As you yourself point out, Essential right now is extremely narrowly defined. You're a trucker, or you work in the transport industry, or in the medical industry installing vital infrastructure.

So why talk of "going on a vacation we could have postponed" as if that describes people on this forum?



It's almost definitely going to be considered non-discretionary/non-optional (so people will be let into the country) but also not essential (so no waiving of the 2000$ tax). After all that's how it is currently.



I doubt it - Trudeau said there would be "very few exceptions". I really doubt he means us. But there is always hope.
Since you played the "a careful reader" card earlier, I won't play it here.

But yes, lots of people here, on this forum, frequently ask about vacations - "I've been waiting for my inland PR for seven months and we really want to go to spring break in Bermuda, will I be allowed back in?" - which is why I used that language. The government is using a slightly different term for this communication - essential travel - either to purposefully confuse things or because Trudeau forgot to be precise.

It's also not a tax - Trudeau said "you'll pay your own costs, it will be about $2k" - a tax is different entirely in law. This is a user fee OR it's literally just an invoice from the hotel and a testing lab, we don't know what yet.

As to your "it's almost definitely" - just as I have no capacity to state something in such clear terms except for a deeply founded belief that a vacation trip to Disneyworld would be covered by this, I can't say whether or not taking up a job under a PR is considered essential travel yet.

We're honestly playing Kremlinology with these restrictions, trying to figure out what they will look like by how the newspaper under the Politburo member's arm is folded on the weekend. We won't know before the regulations are published what they'll say, unless and until a Minister says otherwise.
 

mahtax

Star Member
Dec 26, 2019
119
60
The government has two terms it uses in different context - "Essential Workers" refers to people who are exempt from quarantine requirements, such as truck drivers, airline staff, medical staff installing medical equipment deemed essential to our infrastructure, and others. It's a very short list.

It has another term - "non-optional" and "non-discretionary" which it uses to describe people who are travelling for, well, they refuse to use the word "essential", but something they apparently deem to be necessary. These people are not exempt from quarantining requirements, but they are allowed through the border. They include family members of Canadian permanent residents and citizens, students, people starting a job, new permanent residents moving to Canada. And all citizens, of course.

Now it's true - they might be meaning people doing "non-optional/discretionary" travel when they talk about essential travel. Yes, we will only know when the regs come out. But I would bet good money that "essential travel" will relate to essential workers, and the rest of us are SOL.

We'll see I guess.
 

k.h.p.

VIP Member
Mar 1, 2019
8,361
2,007
Canada
1. This group is a lot like QAnon. If you can read that press release and not roll your eyes involuntarily based on the rhetoric used, you're kinder than I am.

2. They're not suing yet. They're threatening to sue.

3. A lot of what they said in that release needs a lot of factual evidence backing it up.

4. People who arrive in Canada since waaay back in March or April without quarantine plans have been taken to hotels at government expense (I walk past one of these hotels every day) and made to stay quarantine there. It's not the preferred option, but it's also highly not "arresting someone" - it's compliance with the law.
 

claurianta

Full Member
Jul 10, 2007
23
8
The Charter is not a suicide pact.

Evaluation of Charter breaches need to run through the Oakes test, to which I've applied my analysis, though I'm not a lawyer:

(a) is the violation prescribed by law? (here, in regulation, so yes)
(b) is the goal pressing and substantial? (yes, prevention of pandemic spread is both pressing and substantial)

The analysis then moves to a proportionality test:

(a) Is the alleged violation rationally connected to the purpose of the law? (here, yes: quarantine in a hotel for three days to await a test outcome to reduce spread of COVID due to idiots who refused to do so is entirely rationally connected to the purpose of reducing the spread of COVID)

(b) is the violation a minimal impairment of Charter rights in the context of the goal? Is the violation as small as possible, or within a range of reasonably supportable alternatives? (In my mind yes, it's minimally impairing: look at Hong Kong where you're required to quarantine in a hotel for 21 days and wear GPS wrist monitors, and other jurisdictions. Cost is an issue here, but it's minimally an issue. The point of that is to deter non-essential travel, which is in and of itself not unreasonable)

(c) Are the effects proportionate? Is the intended outcome proportionate to the violation? Is it a case of restricting free speech in the entire country so that, say, one business's operations in Saskatoon continue (random example)? (Here, I would say yes: it's on the higher end of infrignement but it is still entirely proportionate, given the element of discretionary travel that the person could freely choose not to engage in compared with the completely non-voluntary outcome of an innocent non-travelling person being infected by someone who absolutely needed to go to Cabo San Lucas in the middle of a pandemic)

--

As to the amazing theory of "someone making a profit" - you people always seem to think that the government is making a profit off of COVID. Give it a year or two and then look at our income taxes - you will see that there is absolutely no f----ing way the Government has made a profit here. The hotels are probably making some good money - but they've had no income since March, so this is probably a shovel full into a deep, deep pit. Also, the government has been renting this hotels since March 2020 - and providing places for people who have nowhere to quarantine before for free - so the imposition of a "pay your own stay now for your own vacation that you could have postponed like most other right-thinking people" fee is not unreasonable.
The main issue here is minimal impairment. Quarantining people to the extent that's necessary to protect other people would certainly qualify. But I don't think the fee qualifies as minimal impairment or that it even has a rational connection. We don't charge criminals for their incarceration, and they actually broke the law. Here we are charging people for exercising their constitutionally protected freedom of movement.
The Government would have to prove that the fee is necessary to protect public health, but that would basically be tantamount to admitting that the quarantine measures, without a fee, would not be sufficient. At the end of the day, the fee is there to discourage people from exercising the constitutionally protected freedom of movement, so I don't think it passes the Oakes test, especially for non-discretionary travel.
 

armoured

VIP Member
Feb 1, 2015
4,243
2,257
The main issue here is minimal impairment. Quarantining people to the extent that's necessary to protect other people would certainly qualify. But I don't think the fee qualifies as minimal impairment or that it even has a rational connection. We don't charge criminals for their incarceration, and they actually broke the law. Here we are charging people for exercising their constitutionally protected freedom of movement.
The Government would have to prove that the fee is necessary to protect public health, but that would basically be tantamount to admitting that the quarantine measures, without a fee, would not be sufficient. At the end of the day, the fee is there to discourage people from exercising the constitutionally protected freedom of movement, so I don't think it passes the Oakes test, especially for non-discretionary travel.
Caveat: not a lawyer.

First: for those reading this, let's be clear - we do not yet know all of the details about the measures, which will come only when they are published as regulations. Then, as with previous measures and regulations - the government can (and I personally would guess will) make adjustments as it believes necessary, when it finds that the measures themselves present issues. Short form: wait and see.

Second: there will be legal challenges. But for 'users' here trying to figure out what will happen and what to do - all readers here basically - do not expect that legal challenges will be resolved quickly. (It is possible of course that the courts could issue an injunction, but it would be foolish to count on that). In other words: don't think that someone starting a legal challenge means that these measures will be removed or judged unconstitutional by the courts in any timeframe relevant to the individual. These are complicated legal questions and even if armchair analysts and even some lawyers believe these measures to be overdone, that does not mean rapid resolution.

As for the points above (going into armchair legal analysis here): I doubt that this interpretation that the fees are required to discourage travel would stand up even for a second. I think it's far more likely that all the government would have to show is that the cost 'charged' of providing the services required to implement what government believes is necessary to protect public health is actually the cost. (Which since it seems to be paid by the travellers directly is more-or-less going to be the cost of provision).

This might be more easily challenged on that basis if the fees were structured as or transparently charged as a 'fine.' Which the government has (seemingly) gone to some length to avoid doing. (Side note: it would seem to me transparently foolish to believe government doesn't have lawyers who aren't aware that these measures will be challenged, and hence gone to some lengths to avoid challenges)

This does not mean there may not be some challenges on other grounds (inequality of treatment, other aspects). One example I can imagine is 'what happens if someone (somehow) arrives in Canada and has not paid in advance and cannot afford to.' My own guess is that government will pay this amount (possibly on a 'recovery' basis, i.e. the individual will owe the government the money, possibly some basis to have the debt forgiven in some circumstances) and that this may be seen by the court as minimal impairment (the individual can exercise the right, it just costs money).

At any rate: these legal discussions don't really help (potential) travellers right now. I repeat, we haven't seen the final regulations, which may well include measures to address situations where individuals can't afford it, what happens to PRs and Canadians 'returning' from some absence that wasn't just 'holiday travel', etc. We will have to wait and see.

My guess is that by the time courts get around to addressing the constitutional issues (which I think are real in the sense that not obvious, although I'd personally expect government to prevail) it will be so far in the future that it won't help anyone currently in the 'pipeline.'
 

claurianta

Full Member
Jul 10, 2007
23
8
Caveat: not a lawyer.

First: for those reading this, let's be clear - we do not yet know all of the details about the measures, which will come only when they are published as regulations. Then, as with previous measures and regulations - the government can (and I personally would guess will) make adjustments as it believes necessary, when it finds that the measures themselves present issues. Short form: wait and see.

Second: there will be legal challenges. But for 'users' here trying to figure out what will happen and what to do - all readers here basically - do not expect that legal challenges will be resolved quickly. (It is possible of course that the courts could issue an injunction, but it would be foolish to count on that). In other words: don't think that someone starting a legal challenge means that these measures will be removed or judged unconstitutional by the courts in any timeframe relevant to the individual. These are complicated legal questions and even if armchair analysts and even some lawyers believe these measures to be overdone, that does not mean rapid resolution.

As for the points above (going into armchair legal analysis here): I doubt that this interpretation that the fees are required to discourage travel would stand up even for a second. I think it's far more likely that all the government would have to show is that the cost 'charged' of providing the services required to implement what government believes is necessary to protect public health is actually the cost. (Which since it seems to be paid by the travellers directly is more-or-less going to be the cost of provision).

This might be more easily challenged on that basis if the fees were structured as or transparently charged as a 'fine.' Which the government has (seemingly) gone to some length to avoid doing. (Side note: it would seem to me transparently foolish to believe government doesn't have lawyers who aren't aware that these measures will be challenged, and hence gone to some lengths to avoid challenges)

This does not mean there may not be some challenges on other grounds (inequality of treatment, other aspects). One example I can imagine is 'what happens if someone (somehow) arrives in Canada and has not paid in advance and cannot afford to.' My own guess is that government will pay this amount (possibly on a 'recovery' basis, i.e. the individual will owe the government the money, possibly some basis to have the debt forgiven in some circumstances) and that this may be seen by the court as minimal impairment (the individual can exercise the right, it just costs money).

At any rate: these legal discussions don't really help (potential) travellers right now. I repeat, we haven't seen the final regulations, which may well include measures to address situations where individuals can't afford it, what happens to PRs and Canadians 'returning' from some absence that wasn't just 'holiday travel', etc. We will have to wait and see.

My guess is that by the time courts get around to addressing the constitutional issues (which I think are real in the sense that not obvious, although I'd personally expect government to prevail) it will be so far in the future that it won't help anyone currently in the 'pipeline.'
I agree it will take time for the legal challenges to go through the system. However, I could see an eventual class action lawsuit on the fees, which, if successful, could result in people getting some or all of the fees back. It would be years before a final decision though. And that could be part of the government's calculation - discourage travel now and pay for everyone's quarantine later (through class action lawsuits).
 

armoured

VIP Member
Feb 1, 2015
4,243
2,257
I agree it will take time for the legal challenges to go through the system. However, I could see an eventual class action lawsuit on the fees, which, if successful, could result in people getting some or all of the fees back. It would be years before a final decision though. And that could be part of the government's calculation - discourage travel now and pay for everyone's quarantine later (through class action lawsuits).
Could be. Again, most important, won't help anyone right now.

I think the fees will hold for the following basic reasons (based only on what we seem to know now):

1) Government is not directly setting the fees (it seems, and they seemed to be very careful to avoid saying so, only 'estimates.') It may cost enough to act as a deterrent, but it's not structured as a fine/punishment/deterrent.

2) Instead, government seems to be setting the specific measures required (quarantine for specified days, setting standards required for isolation of travellers from eg facility staff, medical testing, procedures for staff of these facilities, etc). In addition it did this after widespread news that 'self isolation' by travellers was not being fully respected and not successful at stopping the spread of covid. (Even if you disagree with that news or conclusion, the test is whether courts decide they should second-guess government - and they likely will not unless transparently false).

3) Those specific measures (three days, testing, known issues with reinfection, etc) do not seem on the face of it to be arbitrary. Instead, they do seem to be at least related to what is known of infection rates, asymptomatic cases, info about covid spreading on airlines/airport travellers, etc.

4) Cost calculation seems to be based on what it will cost to meet the government-specified standards (that govt believes is needed), i.e. cost of provision and not 'just a whack of money.'

As I understand the constitutional framework, courts are / are expected to be extremely reluctant to 'second-guess' government as to what measures are required and reasonable esp in context of an emergency. Meaning, roughly:

a) Don't expect courts to decide the measures are 'overreach' or excessive or whatever adjective you wish to apply unless clearly and obviously arbitrary and unjustified. (And I don't think a challenge based on airport measures being more strict than domestic measures will work either - it's not arbitrary and unjustified for the feds to do what is in their power to prevent new infections being introduced into Canada).

Instead, broadly, the government does have the authority/responsbility to impose measures it believes necessary to protect the public. (Government can be wrong about those measures, but that's a different test than 'arbitrary' - I mean, don't expect a challenge to be successful just by arguing that the measures are not needed unless obviously and transparently false and arbitrary; arguing that 'only' x% of infections are due to travel is a bad argument that will fail.)

If government were to impose some unrelated measures (say, every traveller arriving must do 1000 push-ups and 1000 crunchies), there would be a good argument for arbitrariness.

b) If my interpretation above is correct, the costs imposed are not unrelated to the cost of provision, not structured as a fine or punishment, but driven by standards the government has decided to enforce for a public purpose. (Neither is the fact that there are a limited number of quarantine facilities necessarily an issue - as an analogy, people who sell meat must get their meat processed at government-approved facilities built and operated acc to certain criteria - and at a fee)

Also note as a 'fairness' issue - it's not like government is just going out and charging everyone in Canada $2000 for living in the same city as an infected person. The fees are only applicable to people already travelling to/from abroad. Airport fees are not 'unfair' on the face of it, either. Government can and does decide what 'public safety' measures are required for airports and those costs (fees) are built in to cost of tickets and travel (in some places charged directly).

But again, not a lawyer, armchair analysis only, and much will depend on implementing legislation and regulations; notably, I don't know which specific existing laws/legal frameworks will need to be invoked and how they all fit together. (Some more narrow legal challenge eg didn't fully/properly follow procedures required under some public safety act might well have better chances)
 

BRIL23

Hero Member
Feb 27, 2017
236
53
Does anyone have guess if this travel restriction effects PR approval? Will IRCC stop issue PR/Visa/COPR since gov is trying to discourages travel to Canada?
 

armoured

VIP Member
Feb 1, 2015
4,243
2,257
Does anyone have guess if this travel restriction effects PR approval? Will IRCC stop issue PR/Visa/COPR since gov is trying to discourages travel to Canada?
Only a guess, but limited to family and spousal sponsorship, there is no indication it will. If you mean other types of immigration, they may be slowed because only family reunification arrivals are currently admitted anyway. (Save those with other exemptions eg essential workers)
 

BRIL23

Hero Member
Feb 27, 2017
236
53
Only a guess, but limited to family and spousal sponsorship, there is no indication it will. If you mean other types of immigration, they may be slowed because only family reunification arrivals are currently admitted anyway. (Save those with other exemptions eg essential workers)
I mean Family and Spousal application