OTTAWA, ON – The Hon. Erin O’Toole, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives and the Official Opposition, today released a statement following a briefing on the government’s projected COVID-19 numbers:
“Today I met with Justin Trudeau and was briefed on the modelling of new cases of COVID-19 that the federal government expects in Canada in the coming weeks.
“What struck me was that 11 months after news about the spread of COVID-19 emerged, after thousands of lives and millions of jobs have been lost, and hundreds of billions of dollars has been added to the national debt, we as a country are worse off than we were at the start of the pandemic.
“We are in this position because the government failed to give Canadians the ability to rapidly and frequently test for COVID-19; has failed to tell Canadians how they plan to deliver a vaccine; and failed to be transparent with Canadians about what COVID-19 related information they are using to make decisions that affect lives and jobs.
“Canadians need to see a real plan to test, trace, and isolate those who are infected. Shutting down the entire country again is simply not a solution. Today, I am calling on Justin Trudeau to finally do what he should have done months ago to protect Canadians’ lives and their jobs. He must immediately:
- Deploy widespread access to rapid testing for all Canadians, including providing access to at-home tests, to stop the spread of the virus while allowing workers to go to their jobs and for families to be safely reunited;
- Develop more effective and targeted measures to protect, isolate, and support those infected with COVID-19;
- Explain to Canadians how, when, and where they will be able to get a vaccine when it becomes available;
- Provide rapid COVID-19 tests for all travellers entering Canada; and
- Share with Canadians more timely information about the locations and sources of community spread.
“Some regions are now seeing rapidly rising numbers, but Canadians have yet to see a detailed plan on testing and vaccine deployment. The Liberal government is revealing the risks of the second wave but have not learned the lessons from the first. Canadians can count on me to ensure we push for a smarter response.”