It’s purely an onerous requirement designed to discourage Canadian citizens, and permanent residents, from travelling out of the country. And that, IMHO, is purely for optics. The number of cases brought in by non-essential travel, is minuscule.
All foreigners, who are travelling as essential workers, are already forbidden to enter Canada. Essential workers are already excluded from the quarantine rule and from this new testing requirement too. So, this is aimed purely at Canadians.
So, all your farm workers from Mexico can come into Canada, without a test before or after they arrive, without undergoing quarantine, and you can encounter them shopping at the local grocery store. And, who knows how careful they were at home in Mexico, or how careful they are in Canada? Certainly, they live in group accommodations. That can’t be good.
But, people with legitimate reasons to travel, like caring for elderly relatives who can’t come to Canada, are penalized. I even have sympathy for responsible vacationers. Let’s face it… the people who are going to behave irresponsibly are going to do it whether they’re abroad or in Canada.
What would actually work is the testing program they’re trying at the Calgary airport; to make it official and expand it to all Canada. The other thing that would help would be some actual enforcement of quarantine. I’ve done the 14-day quarantine twice now, and I followed the guidelines to the letter. The first time, there were absolutely no checks on me whatsoever. I only had to check in daily on an app, which didn’t even ask for me to share my location. The second time, on day 8, I answered my phone to receive a pre-recorded message from Canada Border Services, reminding me I had another week to go. What a joke!