Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise this evening to discuss some of the changes that seem to be taking place following the election of a new leader of His Majesty's official opposition and Canada's Conservatives. The member for Carleton was elected, and it is drawing a lot of reaction from the government benches. I know that the Liberals are also so excited that there is now a leader in this place who will help give Canadians control of their lives back, a leader who will focus on Canadians' retirements and Canadians' paycheques. That is exactly what we have.
We also have in the member for Carleton, the leader of Canada's Conservatives, a member who is a leader who has been very focused on a pain point for Canada's economy. We have heard from border mayors, from our tourism industry and from trade groups such as the Frontier Duty Free Association the pain caused by the failed ArriveCAN app, as well as the unscientific border measures that have been left in place long after there was a public health justification for them. We have now heard through media reports, as the government attempts to scramble to get as much time and distance between it and these failed policies, that the government is finally going to scrap that app and the mandate that goes along with it.
However, there has been a lot of damage done in the intervening period. Jobs were lost and the economy suffocated. Visitors were turned away from Canada, not feeling welcome and being told that they were not welcome. Canadians who could not, would not or did not comply with the failed ArriveCAN experiment were fined $6,255. I am not just talking about any one type of individual. I am talking about Canadians who were unvaccinated and Canadians who had one dose, two doses, three doses, four doses and more of a COVID vaccination being fined $6,255 by the government.
The contention was that this was to enforce compliance or to make folks safer. We have heard from epidemiological experts who said that this app and the restriction were doing nothing to keep Canadians safe long after all the provinces and territories had moved in a different direction. They have moved forward. Therefore, it is time, when now the government is recognizing the obsolescence of these policies, that it also needs to make right what is wrong. What is wrong, of course, is that Canadians have paid and been fined or just received notice of this $6,255 fine. Some families had multiple people in their vehicles or in their travelling party. Fines in excess of $6,000 per person is an amount that is not manageable for any Canadian family.
We are calling on the government to forgive these fines and to return any of the funds that it has taken from Canadians as a result of these failed policies. Will the government do that?