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Opinion

Politicians are no match for a virus

By Gerry Nicholls      

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announced that, in order to combat the spread of COVID-19, he was going to shut down the border to non-citizens, my gut reaction was 'Great idea, but probably too late; why didn’t you take such action four weeks ago when it might have really helped?' I must confess I’m viewing this crisis much differently than I’ve viewed others in the past, when I could be analytical, detached, and dispassionate when judging politicians on the skill with which they communicated to a worried public. Now I’m part of the worried public.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured on March 17, 2020, holding a press conference outside the Rideau Cottage on the grounds of Rideau Hall. The prime minister and his children are in self-isolation since his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau tested positive for the coronavirus on March 12. Ms. Grégoire Trudeau has been in quarantine since March 12. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

OAKVILLE, ONT.—One of the best lines from the original Ghostbusters movie comes after the character Egon Spengler (played by the late Harold Ramis) beholds the evil god Gozer.

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MPs join fight to stamp out COVID-19 disinformation that’s ‘spreading faster than the virus’

NDP MP Charlie Angus and Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith have joined one such effort, Infotagion, an international initiative launched by U.K. MP Damian Collins.

‘We’re all under the gun’: MPs work 24-7 in the midst of a pandemic

MPs say COVID-19 case work is consuming their days, and they're turning to ‘imaginative’ ways of reaching out to make sure constituents' needs are met and their voices heard.

AFN National Chief Bellegarde calls on feds to ‘immediately’ release 10 per cent of COVID-19 funding to communities

News|By Palak Mangat
A portion of the $1-billion fund announced by the feds to scale up public health services will be directed to First Nations communities, in addition to other funding.

‘The deeper the wound, the longer it takes to heal’: Trump’s threats undermine Canada-U.S. relationship, says former envoy

News|By Neil Moss
'We are dealing with an administration that is both very unpredictable, very much America first, [and] not long-term thinking in terms of its relationship with its allies,' says former diplomat Michael Kergin.

Patients in psychiatric care at great risk to COVID-19 outbreak, warns Sen. Kutcher

‘We are very worried,’ echoes one psychiatrist whose association is preparing a ‘call to action’ to governments.

Feds order 30,000 ‘made-in-Canada’ ventilators

News|By Palak Mangat
'We were able to achieve a win-win outcome, that will be the argument we continue to make and advance in our relationship with the U.S.,' says Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Feds partly responsible for treatment of asylum seekers turned back at Canadian-U.S. border, say refugee advocates

News|By Neil Moss
'We should be weary of using a crisis like this to turn our back on our human rights obligations,' says University of Ottawa law professor Jamie Chai Yun Liew.

‘Is it even big enough?’: Morneau shells out unprecedented billions, economists applaud move as COVID-19 crisis deepens

'The ability to carry debt, and keep those carrying costs of debt down low, is a game-changer in terms of how we manage the deficit,' says former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page.

‘Canadians are placing all their hopes and fears in the hands of government’ and successful political leaders should be honest, unscripted, say pollsters

News|By Abbas Rana
The evolution and the ultimate outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic will eventually decide if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's and the premiers' rising approval ratings will last, say pollsters.
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