Trudeau Sends Emergency Aid to Help Ontario Fight New Covid Wave

Ford government reportedly planning to shut down Queen's Park as Ontario struggles with third wave

Yesterday, the province reported 4,250 new cases, 18 new deaths and 2,107 new hospitalisations, 741 of which were in intensive care.

The situation is so bad that the federal government and other provinces are offering to answer Ontario's call for help.

And while Ontario Premier Doug Ford points the finger at a lack of vaccine supply, the head of the association that represents the province's hospitals argued that AstraZeneca shots were sitting in pharmacy freezers.

There are now 2,202 people hospitalized across the province due to COVID-19, with 755 people in intensive care units and 516 on a ventilator, according to government data.

That occurred with a province-wide order by the Progressive Conservative government of Premier Doug Ford, empowering police to stop and question anyone on the street, or driving their auto, to determine whether they were violating provincial stay-at-home and lockdown rules.

The Ontario government's new measures have divided opinion in the province of 14.7 million people, with some saying it should have cracked down sooner while others see the restrictions as curbing civil liberties.

Police services are stating that enforcement is their last resort, and they are seeking to engage, explain, educate, and then if needed to enforce the legislative powers.

The prime minister says he has also spoken to the premiers of Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, who are evaluating what human resources and equipment they can free up in the next few days.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc told a news conference that the federal government will co-ordinate and cover all the cost of relocating health-care workers who are sent to help from other provinces, including by using military aircraft. The province of Quebec for example has legislated two paid sick days, which is not almost enough for a person with COVID-19 to recover or no longer be contagious.

"In addition to the delayed and cut Moderna shipments, the Premier was notified today by our officials to be prepared for delays to two shipments of AstraZeneca expected from the federal government later this month and next". This could potentially make more vaccines available to more people.

And until they do, Ontario, Canadians, we have your back. However, provinces will not send vaccine doses to Ontario because they need them to protect their own populations.

Checkpoints went up at the boundaries with Quebec and Manitoba this morning to limit inter-provincial travel.

There has been vigorous criticism of the Ontario government's handling of the pandemic and suggestions that its mishandling of the crisis has led to its spiralling out of control.