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 refers to as “the COVID-19 situation” — and specifically, the surge in case counts, rising hospitalization numbers and, in a growing number of regions, the return to more stringent social distancing protocols. (11:30 AM)

Joining him in person for the midday media briefing in the precinct, according to his office, 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 on indoor dining, retail capacity limits and other commercial activities, as well as the temporary pause in in-school learning, indoor dining and other measures across the country, Freeland should be prepared to outline 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, as well as whether they’re wiling to provide emergency financing to provinces and territories facing unprecedented pressure on the health care system.

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

IN THE CHAMBER

Regular parliamentary proceedings are scheduled to resume on Jan. 31, 2022.

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