Politics

Trudeau to deliver on-camera update on latest COVID-19 developments

A day after rolling up his sleeve to receive a booster shot at an Ottawa-area pharmacy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to deliver an on-camera update to Canadians on what his office invariably calls “the COVID-19 situation” — specifically, the surge in cases, hospitalizations, and, in more and more regions, the return to stricter social-distancing protocols. (11:30 AM)

Joining him in person for the midday media briefing in the precinct will be Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, while Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland “will participate virtually,” as will Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam and her deputy, Howard Njoo.

Given the renewed restrictions of indoor dining, retail capacity, and other commercial activities, as well as the pause in in-school learning and other measures across the country, Freeland should be prepared to state exactly how her government intends to support businesses and workers affected by the latest measures.

For their part, Trudeau and Duclos will likely be cross-examined over what additional steps Ottawa will take to contain the latest outbreak, and whether they’re wiling to provide emergency financing to provinces and territories whose health-care systems are under unprecedented pressure.

Meanwhile, it’s safe to assume that all three opposition parties will have something to say about what emerges from the briefing, although, as of Wednesday morning, none has scheduled news conferences to respond.

IN THE CHAMBER

Regular parliamentary proceedings are scheduled to resume on Jan. 31.

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