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*THE 5 LITRE TRASH CAN*

Most sensible folks are able to predict the result of attempting to discharge 25 litres of waste into a 5 litre waste receptacle.

An overflow of unwanted debris scattered far and wide given that the demand to discharge grossly exceeded the ability of the receptacle to contain it.

And as such, most would opt to either increase the volumetric capacity of the bin, or reduce the amount of sludge requiring disposal into said receptacle.

Most- but apparently not all.

Back in January the Government of Canada announced that in an effort to curtail the spread of Covid, all international arriving- by- air passengers would require a mandatory 3 day stay in an approved hotel while awaiting results of their on arrival PCR test.

Details would be forthcoming………. soon.

On Feb.12 the gavel was dropped with the announcement that Feb.22 would be the implementation date.

Details of which hotels qualified as “approved” and instructions as to how to secure a bunk would be forthcoming……….. soon.

Late on the evening of Feb.18, the list was unveiled along with the solitary phone number for the folks at American Express Travel Solutions that travellers needed to call in order to arrange their stay at a cost estimated at around $700 per night.

Predictably, the sudden influx of phone calls from around the globe in efforts to get the great unwashed tucked away in their required Casa Cocoon was more than the folks at Amex could handle.

And so began the arrival on Feb.22 of hoards of screaming and kicking passengers huddled together at 4 Canadian airports attempting to explain to authorities that despite spending up to 24 hours attempting to reach the designated center, they had been unable to secure a room.

Many such passengers simply walked out of the terminal, retrieved their vehicle from the lot, and headed to their home, in some cases located a few kilometres from the airport.

Others such as Cristina Teixeira whose story can be seen at https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-woman-forced-to-pay-3-458-hotel-quarantine-bill-for-one-night-stay-after-returning-to-canada-from-father-s-funeral-1.5329229 wound up with a bill for a 1 night stay comparable to 2 weeks in a luxury Mexican all inclusive.

Clearly this clusterfuddle needs tweaking.

For starters let’s take a hard look at exactly what level of “protection” this 3 day stay is trying to achieve.

Returning Canadians who’ve had a positive pre-flight test result, have arrived showing no symptoms, and are taking another on- arrival rapid PCR test *should be allowed to go home for their interim isolation*.

Far less risky overall than hanging around the arrivals hall, waiting for transportation to a hotel, lingering in the hotel lobby with other arrivals, and heading to a room which in some cases is hermetically sealed relying purely on a common shared ventilations system.

For non resident visitors or passengers arriving into say Toronto who need to grab a connecting flight home to Brandon, bring this reservation system into at least the 20th century and open up the web portal as a booking mechanism.

Pretty much every hotel on the planet has an on-line booking platform where 2 minutes of point and click gets you booked, confirmed and paid.

As opposed to *“all representatives are currently assisting other callers – your call is very important to us and we will be with you as soon as possible – your are caller number……………………496 in the queue and your estimated wait time is………… 7 hours”*

I can’t even imagine the grief being dumped on some of these hotels from arrivals who clearly would rather be elsewhere but are being threatened into compliance by Les Feds.

Notwithstanding the potential for midnight brawls in the lobby where participants are unlikely to be anti-socially distanced, an otherwise revenue producing corporate client who’s used a particular hotel chain for years of business travel is probably not ever going to set foot again into a brand he or she perceives as an affront to dignity.

And understandably so.

Although as was “apparently” the case with Cristina Teixeira who reportedly was charged $3400 for a 1 night stay by the Crowne Plaza Toronto Airport, gaining a return client may be nowhere as lucrative as reeling a few more in for a quick one night stand.

Which I’m certain as a senior analyst with the Ontario Government, Ms. Teixeira is in the process of prepping a memo to Premiere Doug Ford that starts with… “remember last Spring when you indicated there would be stiff penalties for price gouging during Covid?”

Memo to Les Feds:

No one realistically expects when a vital program is rolled out that it’s going to be 100% defect free coming out of the gate.

But when a cluster such as this is so obviously encumbered with defect - *fix it*.

Otherwise come election time, We The People will be on a mission to empty the trash.

And we’ll be headed to the polls with a trash can large enough to get the job done.

Adios until next time.


Dave





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