COVID-19: Trudeau considering federal emergency measures


Federal emergency measures – As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada rose to 450, and a fifth person has died after contracting the virus, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he is considering enacting parts of the Federal Emergencies Act (formerly known as the War Measures Act) as Canada continues to expand its response to the COVID-19 virus.

Enacting the Emergencies Act

By enacting the Emergencies Act, the pandemic would be considered a ‘national public emergency’ and give the federal government more powers to do what it is needed across Canada in the fight against the virus. To do so, the Act would require ‘parliamentary oversight’ and some politicians would have to return to Ottawa in the next few days to legislate it. “There are economic pieces that will need quick passage in order to support Canadians. We are also examining the emergency measures act to see if it is necessary or if there are other ways that will enable us to take the actions needed to protect people,” Trudeau said to reporters. Officials are looking into whether or not it is feasible to enact only specific emergency protocols or put forth additional safety precautions, without having to declare a ‘state of emergency’. The Prime Minister then thanked Canadians who are working on the front lines of the health crisis and pleaded for people to do what they can to help ‘lighten the load’, including staying home and stressing the importance of social distancing in order to protect themselves and others from the COVID-19 virus.

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