Cabinet retreat to confront challenge of limiting damage from ongoing pandemic

Modesto Morganelli
Settembre 15, 2020

"The last thing anyone wants is to go into this fall in a lockdown similar to this spring, and the way we do that is by remaining vigilant", he told reporters as he headed for a two-day cabinet retreat in Ottawa. Originally focused on building a post-pandemic economy, the meeting will now also have to contend with the immediate challenge of limiting the damage from a second wave. "And the way we can prevent that is by remaining vigilant", Trudeau said, reiterating the importance of wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

The retreat comes as Parliament is set to resume with a throne speech on September 23, which Trudeau has promised will outline "a detailed vision for the future and a plan to keep Canadians safe while we rebuild a stronger Canada that works for everyone".

That grim assumption will underlie cabinet discussions as ministers flesh out plans for the September 23 throne speech, which Trudeau has promised will outline "a detailed vision for the future and a plan to keep Canadians safe while we rebuild a stronger Canada that works for everyone".

Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland arrives for the first day of a Liberal cabinet retreat on Monday.

"One would be a slow burn where you see these little bumps and peaks and valleys and we work really hard to put out those outbreaks".

"There is always the possibility that the numbers could grow exponentially. It can easily infiltrate communities, households and we have to take it seriously, we cannot let up".

Ministers are to hear presentations from Canada's chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam along with the two co-chairs of the COVID-19 vaccine task force, Dr. Joanne Langley and Mark Lievonen.

The prime minister on Monday said the pandemic has "exposed weaknesses in our country where vulnerable people are continuing to slip through the cracks. Part of that is considering the potential impacts of climate change in the future". Indeed, the government is operating on the assumption that the global fight against the deadly coronavirus that causes COVID-19 will continue for at least two more years.

Trudeau had previously indicated the speech would present a bold plan for rebuilding a more sustainable, equitable and clean economy.

The Canadian Press reports that-according to sources-the speech itself will focus more on getting through the pandemic than how to rebuild the economy after it's over.

To that end, insiders, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter, laid out three priorities that will be included in the throne speech.

The government has already shovelled billions into emergency aid to help Canadians weather the pandemic.

"We need to keep investing in Canadians to avoid moving from a recession to a depression", he said, characterizing the strategy as akin to taking care of a cold so it doesn't evolve into pneumonia.

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