The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has listed openings for security guards for its “quarantine facilities” in Toronto, York and Halton, Ontario.
The posting requires “risk management and security services for Designated Quarantine Facilities in Ontario.”
The job posting was published last week and will close on September 9 at 2 p.m. EST.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of Canada created “Designated Quarantine Facilities” for Canadians unable to quarantine at home after international travel due to proximity with family members. The public became aware of these facilities following reports of Canadians taken from the airport in unmarked vehicles and forcibly placed in a government facility.
In most cases, the facility was a modified hotel. Travellers were typically required to stay in the room for three nights or until they received a negative COVID test.
Quarantine facilities were manned by hotel staff and security guards.
According to the Government of Canada website, “Travellers arriving in Canada who do not have a suitable place to quarantine or isolate may be referred to a designated quarantine facility, upon the direction of a quarantine officer.”
During a stay, travellers are “required to remain in your room until you receive permission and a specific time to leave from a Quarantine Officer at the facility.”
Horror stories frequently emerged from those who stayed at the facilities. Those in forced quarantine were given little to eat and were not allowed to order food. Complaints arose that facilities didn’t comply with specific dietary concerns.
In Quebec, one woman was sexually assaulted during her stay at a facility.
Later in the pandemic, the government required anyone entering Canada by air travel to quarantine at a Designated Quarantine Facilities, costing travellers around $300 per night. Canadians who crossed the border by land were largely exempt from this policy.
The job posting comes as most Canadians have received two doses of a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine. Federal and provincial governments have dangled COVID-19 vaccination status as a means to return to normal.
Yet, even Canadians with two doses of the vaccine were not exempt from the government’s stringent travel measures during the pandemic, including a stay at a government hotel.
In August, Ottawa announced funding for a “safe voluntary isolation site” in the Windsor-Essex region in Ontario.
The government continues says the isolation site will be used to accommodate foreign agri-workers who can’t find a place to isolate when they enter Canada.