Prime Minister Justin Trudeau slammed the maskless influencers who chartered a Sunwing Airlines flight from Montreal to Cancun on Dec. 30, shown in viral videos and images partying on the plane, calling the situation a "slap in the face."
Ce qui devait arriver arriva.
Sunwing aurait décidé d’annuler le vol qui devait ramener une centaine de Québécois demain soir à Montréal, au lendemain d’images-chocs publiées par le Journal où des influenceurs faisaient le party.
Autre vidéo de la fête 🎥 pic.twitter.com/A7ZnTaThtI
— Francis Pilon (@FrancisPilon_) January 4, 2022
"There will be a full investigation into exactly what went on in this situation," Trudeau said at a press conference on Wednesday. "I think like all Canadians who have seen those videos, I’m extremely frustrated."
"We know how hard people have worked to keep themselves safe, to limit their family gatherings at Christmas time, to wear masks, to get vaccinated, to do all the right things, and it’s slap in the face to see people putting themselves, putting their fellow citizens, putting airline workers at risk by being completely irresponsible."
The prime minister added that Transport Canada is taking this incident "extremely seriously."
A joint statement from Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra, Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos and Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino, states that the federal government is "aware of unacceptable behaviour and cases of non-compliance with mask wearing and other air safety requirements" on the flight and an investigation has been launched.
"Transport Canada has been in contact with the airline concerning this flight," the statement reads. "Should the department determine that non-compliance with Transport Canada regulations and requirements has occurred, fines of up to $5,000 per offence could be issued to passengers."
Passengers could also face jail time if they are found to be falsifying information or endangering others.
'Let’s be honest, this isn’t how anyone wanted to be starting 2022'
Speaking generally about the COVID-19 situation in Canada, Trudeau stated that he understands the frustrations of people across Canada as we come up on almost two years of the pandemic, but added that Canadians "know how to get through this."
Let’s be honest, this isn’t how anyone wanted to be starting 2022. I can understand that people are frustrated, people are tired, people had a holiday season that was less festive for most people across the country than they would have liked.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
"We’re closing in on two years of this pandemic and there have been moments of more intensity and moments of less, but I think everyone was hoping that we would be into a much better place right now, and yet here we find ourselves again, in many parts of the country, in lockdown, with public health rules, with school back virtually... But I also know that we know how to get through this."
The federal government announced that 140 million rapid tests will be delivered to provinces and territories in January, with an allocation on a per capita basis.
When asked about people in provinces like Ontario scrambling to get access to rapid tests, the prime minister maintained that provincial governments are responsible for the distribution of those tests.
"Certainly, with the speed at which Omicron is propagating through our communities and through our country, it makes sense to have rapid testing," Trudeau said.
"My role as prime minister and as the federal government is to be there to provide the vaccines, the rapid tests, secure the borders,...be there with income support for businesses, for workers, and to do everything we can to make sure that provinces have the tools to make the right decision for them, for their citizens."