Published: Tue, March 24, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

PM addresses Canadians: You are not invincible

PM addresses Canadians: You are not invincible

"Go home and stay home..."

Research from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives suggests just under half of renters in this country, or 1.6 million households, may only have enough money saved in the bank to pay their bills for a month or less. Restaurants and bars have been closed and workers across many industries have been sent to work from home.

I think it was during the fifth of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's daily press conferences that I finally snapped and started yelling at my phone, my desktop, and, eventually, my TV. While we are not yet in as strict of a lockdown as other countries, rumours of stepped up measures continue to swirl. U.S. President Donald Trump is reportedly considering easing restrictions and tweeted that, "We can not let the cure be worse than the problem itself".

Images of Canadians ignoring social distancing, packing parks, playgrounds and hosting house parties circulated online and through social media over the weekend.

He announced that the government would launch a national advertising campaign to urge social distancing and hygiene, and compel Canadians to do their part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Hajdu said co-ordination is needed to ensure regions are prepared for what might lie ahead but also for what they are facing now. "Nothing that could help is off the table".

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney both said later in the day they preferred to set rules locally.

"We want people to take this seriously", she said.

"We will look at different measures that could be necessary to enforce these rules".

"There are a number of ways that quarantine orders can be enforced and those could include random inspections, those could include hotlines", she said.

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For its part, the federal government is looking for greater harmonization of data.

"This isn't extraordinary measures for what is an unprecedented financial crisis", he said, adding that Conservatives would like to see food identified as a critical infrastructure in Canada.

"This is not the time for half measures".

Quebec Premier François Legault said his province would effectively be closed for at least the next three weeks.

Trudeau's own self isolation began on March 12 after his wife contracted the virus, which means it could come to an end later this week, but he stressed he is going to follow the advice he gets from experts.

As of 1800 GMT Monday, Canadian public health authorities reported more than 2,000 cases of coronavirus, including 24 deaths. There are 340,000 cases globally.

Trudeau commended the decision by Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee not to send athletes to this summer's Olympics in Tokyo.

And, if premiers are afraid of the political consequences and hoping for Ottawa to take the heat for increasing stringency, well, the same people who vote in provincial elections also vote federally, so it's not clear why one level of government would act differently from another. "At the same time we are providing funding for the University of Saskatchewan's vaccine and infectious disease organization for the development and clinical trials".

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