Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to speak with Canada’s premiers tonight at 6 p.m. ET to discuss the possibility of stricter public health measures in response to the omicron coronavirus variant, sources say.
CBC News has learned that high level conversations have been happening in Ottawa today about implementing more travel restrictions in response to rising COVID-19 case numbers.
Public health officials and experts have warned that the omicron variant — which is thought to be highly contagious and the variant most capable of evading vaccines — is on its way to becoming the dominant coronavirus strain in Canada.
Trudeau tweeted earlier today that he has already spoken directly to British Columbia Premier John Horgan, who serves as the chair of the premiers’ national body, the Council of the Federation.
I just spoke with Premier <a href=”https://twitter.com/jjhorgan?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@JJHorgan</a>, as Chair of the Council of the Federation. We’re going to convene a meeting as soon as possible with the premiers to address Omicron and make sure we’re working together to keep you safe as we head into the holidays. We’ve got your back.
“The two leaders agreed on the urgency of the situation, particularly with the holidays fast approaching,” says a summary of the call issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.
“They reaffirmed the importance of accelerating the rollout of booster vaccine doses across the country as well as continuing to make progress on vaccinating children.”
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland declined to provide details of pandemic measures under consideration during an appearance on CBC’s Power & Politics, saying that she did not want to “pre-empt any announcements.”
“We are in the midst of a global wave of a variant that just turns out to be extremely, extremely, extremely contagious,” Freeland said.
“We have a chance to keep this under control. But we can only do that if all of us really act, and the federal government is committed to doing its part.”