OTTAWA: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has warned the premiers of the country’s 10 provinces that “impossible” choices will have to be made if they don’t lower their Covid19 caseloads soon.
Trudeau’s remarks came as the coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of easing up across Canada as the provinces announced new lockdown measures and the government continues to urge the public to take the health crisis seriously
Trudeau said in a statement: “A few days ago, I got a letter from Jonathon in Ontario. He wrote to me because he’s concerned that Canada is on track to end up like the UK or France, where they’re facing skyrocketing cases of COVID-19.
“For Jonathon, he’s thinking first and foremost of the lives of the people around him. Jonathon closes his letter by saying: “‘Whatever needs to be done. I value the economy but I value my own friends, family, and fellow citizens’ lives first.’
“Thank you, Jonathon, for reaching out. I understand what you’re saying, and I totally agree. “But here’s the thing: By putting the health of your friends, family, and fellow citizens first, you’re actually doing the very best thing to protect the economy, too.”
Trudeau pointed out that Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Alberta all saw record-breaking new cases. This may mean hospitals soon reach a breaking point. Trudeau has already warned provinces and territories to “do the right thing” and impose restrictions to counter the recent rise in Covid-19 cases.
“One of the things that I did highlight is that our resources are not infinite at the federal government, whether it comes to support on contact tracing, extra support on (personal protective equipment), support through the military or the Red Cross. “We are there to support the provinces as they handle this pandemic,” Trudeau said.
“But there is a threshold beyond which when the cases spike too much, we might have to make really difficult choices about where to deploy the limited resources we have.”
Trudeau’s comments followed calls between him and the premiers. Trudeau said his government is not at the point of making those “difficult choices” yet.
“Controlling the virus now reduces the impossible decisions and choices we might have to make down the road.” The Prime Minister said he has approved a request from Manitoba to provide support in the province’s longterm care facilities until January 15, 2021.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said that new modeling suggests the country is on track to record 10,000 new cases per day by early December. “We are obviously working hard at vaccine preparations but that’s going to take time, so we need everybody to make an effort.”
Tam added that unless measures are taken now and the curve is flattened, the pandemic will affect Christmas gatherings.
“Right now, it’s not looking good. People have to like, really take everything seriously.” Trudeau added: “Our government has provided funding through the Safe Restart Agreement, as well as additional direct support for communities through the Indigenous Community Support Fund.
“The federal government will continue to support the people of Nunavut, just like we will for all Canadians.
“Since March, we’ve sent more than 312 million pieces of personal protective equipment to the provinces and territories, including masks, gloves, gowns, and face shields. We’ve also sent nearly 12 million swabs and hundreds of ventilators.
“This is in addition to the more than $25 billion in funding we’ve given to the provinces and territories to support Canadians across the country.
“Whether through the Safe Restart Agreement, the Safe Return to Class Fund or transfers for frontline workers, health care, and the North, we are making sure that Canadians receive the money they need.
“We are also continuing preparations to distribute a safe, effective vaccine across the country as soon as one is ready.
“On that topic, we received more encouraging news about a second vaccine candidate, the one made by Moderna. Canada has already secured tens of millions of doses of the Moderna vaccine candidate, along with a wide range of other promising options.
“Like Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna has already submitted their vaccine candidate for Health Canada review – an important step in assessing efficacy and safety. This is good news, but remember: a vaccine can only protect you once you’ve gotten the shot.
“So until that happens, we all need to double down to get this second wave under control.
“Particularly speaking to young people: This virus might seem like it’s more of a concern for your grandparents than for you. But even if you’re young and healthy, getting COVID-19 can be incredibly serious.
“It could leave you with heart and lung issues. Or it could cost you your life. I don’t say this to scare you. I say this because we need to be honest with ourselves about what we’re facing.
“You need to be wearing a mask, keeping your distance, and washing your hands,” he added.