OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has sent a clear message to Canadians: we aren’t on the brink of a second wave of COVID-19, it’s already here.
In a plea to the nation Wednesday, the prime minister urged people to stay committed to bending the curve, as daily cases counts in the country’s largest provinces continue to climb.
“We can’t change today’s numbers or even tomorrow’s. Those were already decided by what we did or didn’t do two weeks ago,” he said, adding we’re on the verge of a fall season that could be much worse than the spring.
“But what we can change is where we are in October and into the winter. It’s all too likely we won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving, but we still have a shot at Christmas.”
Trudeau stressed that a collective effort was needed to get the spread of COVID-19 under control, adding we’ve done it once before.
He said people need to take the appropriate measures to protect themselves, noting no one is invincible to the coronavirus, and that people can’t get complacent.
“We can bend the curve, we can build a stronger future, we can define the change.”
The country has recorded more than 148,000 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the outbreak, and more than 9,000 deaths have been linked to the coronavirus. The health crisis has put a major strain on the local and global economies, shuttering businesses — in a number of cases, permanently — forcing many into unemployment.
Trudeau’s rare public address came the same day the throne speech was delivered. The prime minister used his message to Canadians later in the day Wednesday to highlight the speech and some of the promises included in it, such as help for ramped-up testing in provinces, extending the wage subsidy for businesses, a national childcare system, and a national standard for long-term care.
All opposition parties have criticized the plan. It’s unclear if the throne speech will pass a confidence vote.
Fewer than 100 COVID-19 cases in B.C. on Wednesday
The prime minister’s plea to the nation also came the same day B.C. recorded fewer than 100 new COVID-19 daily cases for the second straight day.
“New cases and clusters of COVID-19 remain higher than where we would like them to be,” Henry said in a statement Wednesday.
However, she added that by using the “layers of protection” we have available to us, “we reduce our personal risks and the number of new cases, and we make our communities safer.”
“We want to ensure we are in the best position possible to protect our communities and keep as much as is safe open and operating during the pandemic. To do this, we need everyone to do their part today to help push our curve back down tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Ontario also marked a slight dip in daily cases Wednesday, with just 335 new infections reported — down from 478 the day before. Wednesday’s case count was the lowest the province had seen in five days.