Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pleading with Canadians to take self-isolation and social distancing seriously as stories continue to surface about people gathering on beaches, playing in parks and hosting parties.
“Enough is enough. Go home, and stay home,” he said.
“This is what we all need to be doing.”
He acknowledged that staying inside is taking a toll, but that the country can’t afford to stop now.
People who flaunt the rules are putting not only themselves at risk but also their friends, people with pre-existing conditions and the elderly. Not to mention all the workers needed to keep things moving – including health-care workers and retail employees.
Ottawa is launching an advertising campaign to educate Canadians about why they need to stay away from each other, and Trudeau didn’t rule out further measures to enforce compliance.
“If we see that measures are not being taken up properly… aren’t being followed, we will look at different measures,” he said.
“We’d rather not… and we know that millions of Canadians are doing their part.”
He is resisting calls to use the federal Emergencies Act, but is meeting with the provincial premiers tonight to discuss options. No province has yet requested Ottawa to invoke its power on this front, said Trudeau.
The Quarantine Act is already in place, he pointed out, and that gives the federal government significant tools. The Emergencies Act overrides powers the provinces are currently using, and for now Ottawa is working closely with them.
Trudeau also said the federal government is investing $192 million directly to support the development and manufacture of vaccines in Canada.