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O'Toole family tested for COVID-19 under Commons program after long lines stymie them

Last Updated Sep 17, 2020 at 12:06 pm PDT

FILE -- Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole holds his first news conference as leader on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Aug. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Summary

Conservative Leader says the federal government is causing a COVID-19 disaster by not approving rapid testing faster

Erin O'Toole says the prime minister has to explain why Health Canada still has not approved rapid testing devices

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says the federal government is causing a COVID-19 disaster by not moving more quickly to approve rapid testing methods that are already in use in other countries.

O’Toole and his family were tested this morning for COVID-19 through a program for MPs, after waiting for several hours to be tested in Ottawa Wednesday and having to give up.

RELATED: Conservative leader in self-isolation, being tested for COVID-19

O’Toole, his wife Rebecca and their children Mollie and Jack are all in isolation after an O’Toole staff member he was travelling with tested positive for COVID-19 this week.

Demand for COVID-19 testing has skyrocketed this week as kids returned to school and in Ottawa, some people are waiting up to six hours for testing, if they can get in at all.

O’Toole says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has to explain why Health Canada still has not approved rapid testing devices seven months into the pandemic, when many other countries, including the United States, have deemed them safe and effective.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu said Wednesday that Ottawa is reviewing applications for rapid testing devices but will not approve them until they meet Canada’s standards for accuracy.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 17, 2020.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press