U.S. ditching mask mandate puts pressure on Canada

On Monday, a United States judge struck down the mandate that required masks to be worn for air travel and in public transportation. While the U.S. is ditching its mask mandate, the Canadian government has said it has no plans to stop requiring masks on planes, with a spokesperson for Canada's Transport Minister saying "masks remain an incredibly useful tool in our arsenal against COVID-19."

Still, the decision will put more pressure on the federal government to ease mask rules when it comes to travel, says the Public Policy Forum's Sean Speer. On this episode of Editor's Edition, Yahoo Finance Canada's Alicja Siekierska and Speer discuss the U.S. decision, and what it could mean for Canada and Canadian travellers.

If you have any policy-related questions, or feedback about the show, please email alicja@yahoofinance.com.

Video Transcript


SEAN SPEER: Yeah, we're about to go through a kind of pretty tumultuous economic context. And you know, it's going to be interesting to see the policy and kind of political fallout of this sustained period of high inflation and rising interest rates. If I were-- think about this-- the Trudeau government, come 2025, which will be the end of its current parliamentary agreement with the NDP, will have been in power for about a decade.

The average lifespan of a Canadian government is 10 years. So it'll already be kind of long in the tooth. If you add to that of the period of the inflation that we've seen in rising interest rates, I think we'll be kind of operating in a political context in which the demand for change will likely be pretty high.

ALICJA SIEKIERSKA: How do you see this in the more near term playing out, or having an impact on things like the Ontario provincial election? Do you think that these pocketbook issues will be the top priority on the campaign trail?

SEAN SPEER: Yeah. I mean, the Ford government has been mocked-- mostly understandably-- for the cash payments that it sent out in recent days of returning fees that were charged for license plate renewals. You know, my in-laws received $300 each, or something like that. But for some of those households in need, that would be a much welcomed $300.

And I only mention that particular case because, again, it sort of reflects that the government is interpreting and seeing some of these same trends that you outlined in your poll, and that Darrell Bricker has been finding in his own, that people are feeling stretched. And I think you'll see the Liberals and the NDP in Ontario with their own kind of competing policies that speak to those sentiments and concern.