Heather McPherson: Canada's southern Africa travel restrictions are 'racist'
Published Monday, December 6, 2021 7:02PM EST
OTTAWA -- The NDP’s foreign affairs critic is calling Canada’s travel restrictions on foreign nationals in the Southern Africa region racist.
“Why are these countries being punished instead of other countries? Looks racist to me,” Heather McPherson said on CTV’s Power Play Monday. She was part of a panel with Parliamentary Secretary to the International Trade Minister Arif Virani and Conservative foreign affairs critic Michael Chong.
The federal government announced a ban preventing foreign nationals in the Southern Africa region from travelling into Canada in late November as a response to the Omicron variant.
The government amended those rules over the weekend to help Canadians stranded in South Africa.
Arif Virani responded to McPherson’s allegation, saying he “categorically reject[ed] that allegation.”
“This is based on science and the evidence. The first detection of the virus was originating in South Africa,” Virani said.
Virani and McPherson debate Canada’s travel restrictions in the video at the top of this article.