Policy briefing: PM says new measures could be put in place to deal with Omicron variant



Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the prospect of new measures to deal with the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Trudeau addressed the issue on Tuesday while chairing a cabinet meeting.

In remarks to the media, the prime minister said Canada has “very strict border measures now” and rules regarding vaccination for entry into the country. “Maybe we need to do more and we will look at it very carefully,” he added.

Five cases of the new variant have been confirmed in Canada – four in Ontario and one in Quebec. Other potential cases are also being investigated. Parliamentary reporter Kristy Kirkup reports here on the situation.

Mr. Trudeau did not specify the measures envisaged.

However, the government announced a press conference at 4 p.m. EST on Tuesday in which ministers and officials were to provide an update on COVID-19 and measures to combat the Omicron variant.

Check the Globe’s website later today for press conference coverage.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian bailey. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you read this on the web, subscribers can subscribe to the Politics newsletter and over 20 more on our newsletter signup page. Do you have any comments? Tell us what you think.


VICTIMS ‘RIGHTS IN THE MILITARY ARMY BILL – More than two years (and two elections) after the Liberal government passed a bill guaranteeing victims’ rights with cases in the military justice system, the law has not been fully enacted – leaving people without basic guarantees and support during a complex and traumatic process. History here.

NEW ARMS RACE ONGOING – An Austrian diplomat who was one of the architects of a new United Nations treaty to ban nuclear weapons has said the world is in the midst of a new arms race that includes a spectacular expansion of the Chinese arsenal.

NEW CONVERSION THERAPY BILL DEPT – The Liberal government has reintroduced a bill that effectively prohibits forcing anyone into conversion therapy, a widely condemned practice aimed at changing sexual orientation or gender identity of a person. History here. The bill is here.

NEED FOR NEW HEALTH DATA AGENCY – Federal and provincial governments to create a national agency to establish standards for collecting and sharing health data in order to respond more quickly to threats such as pandemics and disease. improve patient care, according to a new report.

BC MP VS. DICAPRIO – In a series of tweets, Skeena, BC Liberal MP Ellis Ross, slammed Hollywood heavyweight Leonardo DiCaprio for his allegedly “misinformed” comment in support of opposition to the Wet’sutwet’en pipeline Coastal GasLink. “You have no idea what you’re talking about,” Ross told DiCaprio. on Twitter. “Call me. I’ll tell you the other side of the story as an Indigenous leader who has been at the forefront of this project from day one. Global News article here.


TODAY IN THE MUNICIPALITIES – Projected order of work in the House of Commons, November 30, accessible here.

FRASER IN GUATEMALA – Immigration Minister Sean Fraser is in Guatemala to meet with Filippo Gradi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and high-level officials from Central American countries and the United States. Mr. Fraser also participates in the annual ministerial meeting of the Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework for Central America and Mexico.

NG TO WASHINGTON – International Trade Minister Mary Ng, accompanied by members of the opposition, will travel to Washington, DC from Wednesday to Friday to meet with congressional leaders and stakeholders to defend workers and the Canadian industry in light of the harmful Damage Buy America and Electrical -Vehicle Provisions. Unfair softwood lumber duties and trade challenges facing potato exports are also on the agenda, according to one opinion.

PRE-NOL COMMITTEES – Government House Leader Mark Holland said he is in talks with his counterparts in other parties to launch the committees needed to review the legislation. I think I expect that we can have some operational committees before the Christmas recess. I think it’s reasonable, but there are details we still need to work out, ”Holland told reporters monitoring Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.

BICYCLE POLICY – When is a bicycle more than just a bicycle? The problem arose in the House of Commons on Monday when Conservative MP Ed Fast challenged a bicycle hanging on the wall behind Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault as the minister virtually participated in Question Period. Mr. Fast, MP for Abbotsford, told Speaker Anthony Rota that he believed Mr. Guilbeault was in violation of the rule against the use of props by those speaking in the House. “Presumably he was trying to make a statement about his environmental credibility. What the minister has done is openly use a prop because he is now doing it from the safety of another room, ”said Mr. Fast, asking Mr. Rota to comment on the matter. Meanwhile, Manitoba New Democrat Daniel Blaikie added, “I remain in the House in awe. Only a Conservative could see a bicycle as a partisan symbol. Mr Rota, in response, said he was asking all MPs, whether in the House or virtually appearing, to make their backgrounds as neutral as possible.

LE DÉCIBEL – Today’s edition of The Globe daily The podcast features Globe science correspondent Ivan Semeniuk discussing what is currently known about the new Omicron variant and what it could mean for the effectiveness of currently available COVID-19 vaccines. Listen now.


Private meetings. The Prime Minister chaired the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister also attended question period and participated in the debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne. In addition, the Prime Minister was to meet with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres.


The Deputy Prime Minister spoke virtually with Yukon Premier Sandy Silver and also attended the cabinet meeting and question period.


Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet replies, in the House of Commons, to the Speech from the Throne.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole replies, in the House of Commons, to the Speech from the Throne.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in Ottawa, held a press conference, attended question period and was to meet with the Federation of Francophone and Acadian Communities of Canada.


CANADIANS AND THE QUEEN – A new Angus Reid Institute study finds that a full majority (55 percent) of survey respondents say they support Canada’s place in the monarchy with the current Queen – who l he next year is set to mark 70 years as Canada’s Head of State. That drops to just 34% with his alleged successor Prince Charles as the hypothetical king. Results detailed here.


The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on what Canada needs to do at the border, and elsewhere, to beat Omicron:Most of the preliminary information suggests that Omicron could be closer to the best case scenario. But that’s not an established fact, and it won’t be until December. And even the best of times could be a little worse than the status quo. A more contagious variant is the most dangerous for the more than three million Canadian adults and adolescents without even a single injection. If Omicron is more contagious, then the unvaccinated pandemic in Canada could be magnified by its arrival. This is why Canada must once again put the pedal to the metal on the most basic measures to fight the pandemic: universal masking in indoor public places, inject a lot of fresh air into these spaces and do everything possible. to get the first shots in the unvaccinated and booster shots in almost everyone.

André Picard (The Globe and Mail) on why we need to be ready for Omicron, but without assuming the worst: “Almost two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, patience and calm are lacking. But a stoic and nuanced response is exactly what we need as we digest the bad news that another variant – B.1.1.529, or Omicron – has been launched on the world. The World Health Organization has warned that Omicron poses a “very high risk” of fueling the perilous and precarious pandemic, but its real effect remains to be seen. In other words, we must prepare for the worst, but not imagine the worst. “

Chris Alexander (Contributor to The Globe and Mail) on how Russian President Vladimir Putin is about to strike in Ukraine and war could spill out onto the world stage: “Indeed, analysts now believe Mr. Putin is about to strike. The stakes are high. The invasions of Belgium and Poland only sparked world wars after earlier opportunities to prevent them had been missed. We cannot afford to repeat these mistakes. Only credible security guarantees, backed by NATO or equally robust groups of allies, can deter wider conflicts in places like Ukraine and Taiwan, just as sanctions against Pakistan could have prevented return. Taliban and other terrorists in power in Afghanistan.

Kathryn May (Policy Options) on mental health issues as a growing share of disability benefit claims in the public service: “The public service has stood out for years for having a higher proportion of mental health claims than other employers. Mental health, led by depression and anxiety, is by far the biggest contributor to claims, followed by cancer in second place with 11.5% of claims. All employers, however, are bracing for an increase in mental health issues as the pandemic abates and they move to a hybrid workforce. “

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