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Some politicians in Ottawa are warning that new pandemic-related lockdowns may “have a greater impact on the health of Canadians” than coronavirus itself, according to Blacklocks Reporter.
“The prime minister suggested businesses were better off because of lockdown,” Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner stated before the parliamentary health committee. “As a legislator, I’ve been trying to figure out if the measures that have been put in place are actually working.”
“I’m just wondering if you could point me to any publicly-available federal data that’s been used to suggest repetitive COVID lockdowns had a better impact on Canadian society than the negative societal impact of job losses, mental health, being separated from family,” Garner inquired. The MP also asserted that Canadians should be entitled to “information on how data are being used and selected on interventions that are costing millions of jobs and thousands of lives.”
The Department of Health said that they have not performed a cost-benefit analysis to compare the two.
Some health experts have also questioned the value of lockdowns, as cases continue to rise unabated in provinces such as Ontario even as lockdown measures become progressively stricter. Some have suggested that the rise in cases has little to do with the general levels of social interaction and have more to do with the cold weather causing Canadians to flock indoors where coronavirus spreads more easily.
Rempel took her criticism to Twitter, making a jab at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for suggesting that lockdowns would ultimately be good for business.
Trudeau called upon the individual provinces to design their own lockdown restrictions, but said he was "not looking to bring in a federal hammer" and explicitly rejected a new federally-mandated lockdown.
"It was somewhat simpler in the spring when I could stand in this place and say everybody across the country, stay home, don’t go out. It worked to bend that curve. But millions of Canadians suffered and it was a blunt tool, a national shutdown," Trudeau argued.
Trudeau nevertheless suggested that Canadians should voluntarily self-isolate in order to restrict the spread of the virus. “What I’m doing right now is telling people not to go out if you don’t have to, and not to travel if you don’t have to,” Trudeau told reporters.