Positive Poilievre polling leads to talk of easing border restrictions: Tories

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OTTAWA — Conservative members of Parliament say the Liberals are playing politics with COVID-19 border restrictions, and talk of scrapping those restrictions may have to do with the new Tory leader.

The Liberals are considering whether to make changes to the mandatory use of the ArriveCan app, and rules about vaccine mandates for foreign travellers and random COVID-19 tests, which are set to expire on Sept. 30.

Outside their caucus meeting, several Conservative MPs welcomed the possibility of ending COVID-19 restrictions for travellers, but say they don't understand what has triggered these discussions — aside from changing political tides.

Saskatoon—Grasswood MP Kevin Waugh says he believes the Liberals are considering the change because of favourable polling for new Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre.

Poilievre is a staunch opponent of vaccine mandates, and his position on COVID-19 restrictions was a major element of his leadership campaign.

Cabinet has not approved a decision one way or the other yet, but is expected to meet Thursday afternoon.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 21, 2022.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press