Trudeau asks Canadians to “stay home”
Despite the good weather, Justin Trudeau asks Canadians to “stay at home”. And if they decide to go outside, they should respect the recommended social distance of two meters.
If Canadians do not adhere to these guidelines, which aim to curb the spread of COVID-19, the federal government could step in to tighten the screw.
The provinces have announced, in turn, stricter measures on their territory, ranging from the closure of public places to stiff fines or arrests in the event of rallies.
Despite everything, publications on social networks show people who go outside, in groups, thus defying these prohibitions.
“We all have the capacity to flatten this spread, to protect our communities and it is absolutely necessary to do so,” said Mr. Trudeau, in a daily press briefing outside his residence.
“I understand that people appreciate the end of winter and the good weather that is coming, but people can go outside by keeping a distance from each other, by avoiding gatherings,” he said. added.
For the moment, there is no question of invoking the Emergency Measures Act. Trudeau said it will only be necessary if he feels he has exhausted all other provincial and territorial remedies.
“We haven’t gotten to that point yet, but we’re watching carefully to see if we’re going to get there,” he said.
The response of his Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu, left less room for interpretation: “Let me be perfectly clear: we will use all the tools in our toolbox, at the federal level, to ensure compliance with [ indications] ”, she hammered.
Then, addressing snowbirds (“migrating retirees”) and other travelers returning from abroad, she launched an unequivocal appeal. “When they say you have to stay home for 14 days, you stay home for 14 days. You are not going to buy groceries, you are not going to visit your neighbors or your friends. You rest at home for 14 days, without exception, ”she said.
M me Hajdu did not go as far as the National Director of Public Health of Quebec, Horacio Arruda who seven days earlier ordered Quebecers to follow the instructions to curb the spread of the virus.
“I hope we don’t have to order them [to do it],” said the minister.
As the Northwest Territories closes its border, Nova Scotia bans gatherings of more than five people, and Quebec even orders the closure of shopping centers, should Ottawa put clear markers to find their way around ?
M me Hajdu said that “uniform standards” may be expected across the country, not just for medical tests, but also for monitoring and data collection. It also includes public health and community advisories, she adds.
“We will not hesitate to step in, if we have to, to provide more solid direction and more robust measures to ensure consistency across the country,” she said.
“We know that various provinces have varying problems and challenges, but also strengths and strengths. What we are trying to do is make sure we have a unified approach across the country as we start a new week, “said the Minister.
Repatriations in progress
Thousands of Canadians abroad have returned or are on their way home.
Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne confirmed on Sunday that he is working with airlines to secure commercial flights to Peru, Spain, Morocco, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
At the end of the afternoon, Mr. Champagne announced that he had secured the cooperation of Cuba, Ecuador and Uruguay for Canadians who wish to return to the country.
Sunwing announced 30 repatriation flights on Sunday alone, bringing 5,000 Canadians home.
From Monday to Wednesday, WestJet provides 34 repatriation flights to help Canadians return home from international destinations.
Air Transat, for its part, is working with Global Affairs Canada to obtain special permissions to fly where the airspace is closed, confirmed Mr. Trudeau.
Late Saturday evening, 444 Canadians who were in Morocco arrived in Montreal on an Air Canada commercial flight. The company confirmed on Sunday afternoon that two more flights from Casablanca are scheduled for March 23 and 25.
In Canada, there were more than 1,400 confirmed cases of people with COVID-19 and 20 people died, according to data offered Sunday afternoon by Canada’s Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Howard Njoo (see table ).
Quebec now has 219 cases, an increase of 38 new cases since Saturday. Prime Minister François Legault attributes the increase to accelerated testing for COVID-19.
Ontario has 48 new cases in the province. It now lists 425. The authorities have mentioned that two women in their twenties were among those suffering from the disease. At the end of the day, the authorities announced a fifth death in the province.
THE ROOM RECALLED TUESDAY
A smaller number of MPs will be called back to the House of Commons at noon Tuesday to adopt the emergency economic measures announced by the Trudeau government.
Thus, 14 Liberals, 11 Conservatives, 3 Bloc members, 3 New Democrats and one Green will sit on that day for a short debate. It is expected that the bill will be passed in the late afternoon.
The Senate will sit the next day, with a limited number of senators, and the bill is expected to receive Royal Assent the same day, predicts Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez.
The federal government intends to provide $ 27 billion in direct assistance for workers and businesses affected by COVID-19, in addition to leaving Canadians up to $ 55 billion in leeway with tax deferrals.
The work of the House of Commons was suspended until April 20, but it is not “impossible” that the deputies are called again to adopt other measures according to Mr. Rodriguez.