The West Block – Episode 49, Season 10 – National

Episode 49, Season 10
Sunday, October 17, 2021

Host: Abigail Bimman

Invoice Blair, Public Security Minister
Nathan Friedland, Emergency Room Nurse, Montreal

MP Panel:
Lena Metlege Diab, Liberal MP-Elect, Halifax West
Melissa Lantsman, Conservative MP, Thornhill
Lisa Marie Barron, NDP MP-Elect, Nanaimo—Ladysmith

Location: Ottawa, ON

Abigail Bimman: This week on The West Block: A inexperienced mild for American highway journeys.

Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister: “We’re working to make clear and finalize all the small print.”

Abigail Bimman: What it is advisable to know earlier than crossing the border.

Two months between election day and the following Parliament? We’ll get a recent tackle the brand new session from a few of Ottawa’s freshest faces with a panel of latest MPs.

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And, what to do about unvaccinated well being care staff.

Christian Dubé: “If we proceed like this, we’ll run right into a wall.”

Abigail Bimman: Quebec extends a deadline, susceptible to dropping as many as 25 thousand staff.

It’s Sunday, October seventeenth. I’m Abigail Bimman, and that is The West Block. Mercedes Stephenson is away right now.

Nicely, some huge information this week for Canadians trying to head south for highway journeys, household reunions and holidays. Come November, america will open its land borders to vaccinated foreigners, no COVID take a look at required.

Jim Diodati, Niagara Falls Mayor: “Household on either side, pals on either side, we buy groceries forwards and backwards. It’s an actual symbiotic relationship.”

Abigail Bimman: For greater than two months, Canada’s borders have been open to vaccinated Individuals any manner they need to cross. However for the reason that begin of the pandemic, Canadians couldn’t drive to the U.S.

Patty Hajdu, Well being Minister: “It’s been extremely complicated for travellers.”

Abigail Bimman: That can change November eighth. You’ll be requested about your vaccination standing on the land border. You gained’t want to point out proof until you’re screened additional. You have to to point out proof to fly to the U.S. You gained’t want a COVID take a look at to enter that nation by land, however Canada nonetheless requires a destructive PCR take a look at on the best way again.

Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister: “Our measures have been versatile and so they have tailored to altering circumstances.”

Abigail Bimman: And on the Canadian facet, we nonetheless have this conflicting recommendation about whether or not it’s a good suggestion to journey in any respect.

Patty Hajdu, Well being Minister: “We nonetheless have journey advisories in place, recommending that folks don’t journey until it’s completely needed.”

Abigail Bimman: And to interrupt all that down, we’re joined by Public Security Minister Invoice Blair.

Minister, thanks for being right here. I need to begin with these phrases out of your colleague Patty Hajdu on our present final week, saying now isn’t the time to journey. It’s a complicated message with the U.S. and Canada making it simpler to cross the border. What’s your message to Canadians who need to journey?

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Invoice Blair, Public Security Minister: Nicely, actually we perceive that there’s a really sturdy pent up demand for individuals who need to journey. Many Canadian snowbirds for instance, are anxiously ready to search out out in the event that they’ll be capable to go south for the winter. However on the identical time, we additionally acknowledge that in worldwide journey, when individuals journey into nations the place the circumstances can change, and we’ve seen that occur all through the pandemic, Abigail, the place, you already know, the principles have abruptly modified and folks haven’t been in a position to get in a foreign country, or they could be confronted with, you already know, final minute modifications in varied jurisdictions the place a journey advisory stays in place. However we’re additionally taking motion to guarantee that individuals who do select to journey can accomplish that safely, and significantly for absolutely vaccinated travellers with the event, and it’s nicely underway, the work on a global proof of vaccination certificates system and in addition with the brand new guidelines being introduced reciprocal between ourselves and america now, whereby travellers to each Canada and america who’re absolutely vaccinated, will be capable to enter the nation for non-essential functions.

Abigail Bimman: Minister, you discuss, you already know, being conscious or being cautious heading to sure areas, do you suppose that the federal government’s blanket journey advisory must be extra focused?

Invoice Blair, Public Security Minister: Nicely I feel finally it should evolve that manner and one of many issues—and, you already know, the deputy prime minister made reference to it, over the course of your complete pandemic, the recommendation that we’ve been receiving from our well being officers, and we monitor very fastidiously the info and the proof from world wide and that recommendation has continued to evolve, we’re additionally seeing now that with the proof of vaccination, verification that’s being put in place, in addition to the utility of the destructive PCR exams that we’ve additionally put in place, these measures have confirmed to be fairly efficient in defending our communities and Canadians from the introduction of COVID at our borders and so we’ll proceed to be taught from these classes and modify our recommendation as applicable. However in each case, we hearken to the science. We hearken to the recommendation of our public well being companies and we work very intently and collaboratively with our worldwide companions.

Abigail Bimman: We actually anticipate extra Canadians to hit the highway subsequent month to the U.S., and so as to make issues simpler your authorities has been promising a vaccine certification or vaccine passport system for months. Are you able to give us any replace on when that will probably be prepared, particularly?

Invoice Blair, Public Security Minister: Really, there’s been an excessive amount of work finished on that and the prime minister’s indicated that it stays a really vital precedence for us. We all know that an internationally acknowledged proof of vaccination certificates goes to be needed and really useful to Canadians who select to journey overseas. And so I’m very assured that within the coming weeks, we will probably be introducing these certificates. There’s nonetheless some work that’s being finished with our provincial companions the place the info is definitely resident and to guarantee that that’s out there to Canadians proper throughout the nation. However some actual progress has been made and I’m assured my colleague, the minister from immigration, will probably be making these bulletins within the coming weeks. However an excessive amount of work has been finished and we’ve promised that we’re going to get this job finished as shortly as attainable and the prime minister has actually indicated that it stays a precedence for our authorities.

Abigail Bimman: Are you able to make a promise that that will probably be earlier than this date of November eighth when Canadians will be capable to journey to the U.S. by highway, by land?

Invoice Blair, Public Security Minister: I all the time suppose it’s vital to over carry out and underneath promise, however on the identical time I’m very assured that that work has been progressing very, very nicely and that we’ll have in place for quite a few Canadian travellers that certificates by that date. However there are nonetheless another contingencies that must be addressed. We’re working by way of them as shortly as attainable and I feel in our conversations with the provinces and territories, I feel all people acknowledges the significance of a global—you already know they discuss a vaccine passport. It’s proof of vaccination certification that might be accepted internationally. We’ve been working actually arduous on that. The work, by the best way, continued all through your complete summer time. Now we have been engaged on this for a number of months and the outcomes of that tough work will probably be introduced within the coming weeks.

Abigail Bimman: So many items of this puzzle and so many, you already know a lot altering info and particulars. I wish to get you to make clear your understanding a couple of take a look at requirement for Canadians coming into america by air versus by land.

Invoice Blair, Public Security Minister: For a number of months now, Canadians have required—travellers coming into this nation, each Canadians and Individuals and overseas nations to be absolutely vaccinated and to point out proof of a destructive PCR take a look at. We perceive with the brand new rules being put in by america, they aren’t going to require that destructive PCR take a look at at land borders, however they’re going to retain the requirement for individuals arriving internationally by air into america that they be each absolutely vaccinated and that they’ve the outcomes of a destructive PCR take a look at taken inside the earlier 72 hours, precisely the identical customary and requirement that Canada could have for worldwide air travellers as nicely.

Abigail Bimman: All proper. We’ll have to go away it there. Thanks a lot in your time Public Security Minister Invoice Blair.

Invoice Blair, Public Security Minister: Thanks very a lot, Abigail.

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Abigail Bimman: And yet another vital piece of the puzzle. Late Friday, the Centres for Illness Management and Prevention launched a crucial replace: Individuals who acquired combined doses of COVID-10 vaccines will probably be eligible to enter to america subsequent month. The company stopped in need of recommending the combined dose follow within the U.S., however now acknowledges it’s an more and more frequent vaccination technique elsewhere on the earth. That features Canada the place practically 4 million individuals are believed to have acquired doses of two totally different vaccines.

We requested Minister Blair about this earlier than the CDC made its announcement. Right here’s what he mentioned in regards to the Canadian Authorities’s function.

Invoice Blair, Public Security Minister: I can inform you, we’ve been working very intently with our American counterparts. Our well being officers have been offering the info, the proof in our research, which have demonstrated, I feel, and proven very clearly, the efficacy and the effectiveness of the combined dosage regime that was put in place in Canada. We offered that proof to the CDC.

Abigail Bimman: Nicely up subsequent, they gained the election, now they wait to take their seat within the Home of Commons for the primary time. We check-in with new MPs about their targets for the following session of Parliament.


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Abigail Bimman: Tomorrow marks one month for the reason that federal election. A brand new cupboard will probably be unveiled 9 days from now and the Home set to renew November twenty second. And when it does, there will probably be a number of dozen new faces and we wish their tackle what comes subsequent.

Becoming a member of me now’s a panel of latest MPs-Elect from coast to coast. In Halifax, we now have Liberal Lena Metlege Diab; in Thornhill, Ontario, Conservative Melissa Lantsman; and in Nanaimo, B.C., we now have New Democrat Lisa Marie Barron. Thanks all for being right here. I’m going to leap proper in. I’m going to start out with Ms. Metlege Diab. We all know now the Home will come again greater than two months after the election, I need to know the place is the federal government accountability there? We bought a message from Canadians electing a minority Parliament. They need you to work with different events, so why take so lengthy to get again to work?

Lena Metlege Diab, Liberal MP-Elect, Halifax West: Let me say merci beaucoup for having us right here on this panel. I’m more than happy that I’m with an all-female panel right here, and more than happy that Canadians have elected probably the most feminine MPs to the Home of Commons, significantly as we have a good time the 100 12 months anniversary for the primary girl to get elected.

So to your query, Canadians need us to get the job finished and I’m more than happy and actually excited to be a part of the brand new MPs, to have the ability to work with my caucus colleagues and in addition with different colleagues throughout the aisle so as to do the vital issues that Canadians need us to do.

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Having mentioned that, the federal government has continued to do the nice work that it had been doing, significantly on guaranteeing that Canadians are saved secure on mandating vaccines for federal staff, in addition to for journey and so forth. So there’s loads of work to do and I’m very excited to get to work on these.

Abigail Bimman: Melissa Lantsman, is that sufficient for you? I do know your social gathering put out an announcement saying {that a} Conservative authorities would have gotten again to work quicker. What do you suppose?

Melissa Lantsman, Conservative MP, Thornhill: Nicely, I feel that’s completely true. I feel after, you already know, after Mr. Trudeau crossed the nation during the last, you already know, during the last 36 days simply lower than a month in the past saying that this was a very powerful election since World Battle II, you’ll suppose that we might be known as again to work in-person, in Parliament, you already know, with lower than 62 days of trip. So I feel Canadians anticipate that their parliamentarians go and combat for them in Ottawa and so they try this inside an affordable timeline. I don’t know anyone who after a vital election says that we should always take a trip for 62 days.

Abigail Bimman: All proper. And Lisa Marie Barron, I need to ask you the NDP helped the minority Liberals move laws time and time once more within the final Parliament. Do you suppose your social gathering will observe that playbook this time round?

Lisa Marie Barron, NDP MP-Elect, Nanaimo—Ladysmith: Thanks for having me on right here and in addition I’m very joyful to be on right here with different MPs. what we all know is that the NDP MPs proceed to combat for individuals, proceed to combat for the surroundings, and that’s what we’ll see transferring ahead. We’re excited to get to work and know that we’ll proceed to push for individuals. Persons are struggling proper now. We’re seeing that and listening to that. That’s what our MPs have introduced ahead in our first caucus assembly was speaking about how can we combat for the individuals which might be struggling and combat to handle the local weather disaster.

Abigail Bimman: However how do you suppose that interaction will work with the Liberals? Will you assist prop up this minority authorities once more on this new Parliament?

Lisa Marie Barron, NDP MP-Elect, Nanaimo—Ladysmith: Yeah, we will certainly proceed to push Trudeau’s Liberals to do higher for individuals, and certain do hope that this authorities will work with the NDP to get the work finished and that’s precisely what we’ll proceed to do, is push for that to occur.

Abigail Bimman: All proper. One other scorching subject proper now’s this query of whether or not it must be obligatory for MPs to be vaccinated after they come and sit within the Home of Commons. I need to begin with Melissa Lantsman. In the course of the marketing campaign, your chief didn’t mandate vaccinations for candidates. The place do you stand on whether or not all of your MP colleagues, you already know, sitting side-by-side within the Home must be mandated to be vaccinated?

Melissa Lantsman, Conservative MP, Thornhill: Look, I feel at first, Parliament wants to come back again in-person. I don’t suppose that we’ve heard that essentially from the federal government, and I do know that negotiations haven’t began but. They may begin shortly about what that return in-person seems like. However completely, it shouldn’t be digital.

On the query of vaccines, like I feel vaccines are vital. I’m vaccinated. I’m double-vaccinated. I encourage others to get vaccinated. And whereas these negotiations are taking place, I feel that the federal government must be clear on what it’s going to take to get individuals again into the Home and in lower than a month from now.

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Abigail Bimman: Okay, however I’m probably not listening to a transparent place on whether or not you suppose it’s vital that your caucus colleagues or that every one MPs…

Melissa Lantsman, Conservative MP, Thornhill: I feel it’s—look, I completely suppose it’s vital to be vaccinated. I’m vaccinated. Once more, we’re going to have these discussions in our caucus. We’re going to make that place identified. However when it comes to the negotiation of what occurs within the Home that occurs between the Home leaders and the management in each events on what a return to Parliament seems like.

Abigail Bimman: Okay. And on that return to Parliament, Lena Metlege Diab, I’m going to ask you on each factors there. Ought to Parliament be in-person solely? And, what do you concentrate on all MPs being vaccinated or having that be obligatory?

Lena Metlege Diab, Liberal MP-Elect, Halifax West: So we all know that Canadians need us to maintain them secure. We additionally know that science and epidemiology has informed us that vaccination is the best way by way of this pandemic. In order that’s why I imagine it’s vital for elected officers to point out management on this query and in reality, I come from Nova Scotia and have been a cupboard minister right here for the final eight years, and I’m joyful to say that even the federal government right here in Nova Scotia has made {that a} precedence and has mandated that every one elected provincial officers additionally needed to be vaccinated and in reality, they’ve returned to the Home simply this week. So I imagine that for these MPs that select to set foot within the Home of Commons that they do must be vaccinated until they’ve a transparent medical exemption. Once more, I’m not a health care provider nor am I an epidemiologist, however there’s a manner there. In any other case, I feel they, you already know, they I’d imagine must be given the chance to attend just about and I imagine that’s the suitable factor for us to do for Canadians.

Abigail Bimman: In order that’s attention-grabbing as a result of that leaves the door open to a digital Parliament out of your perspective. Do you imagine that there must be a digital Parliament, digital committees? The place do you stand on that a part of the problem?

Lena Metlege Diab, Liberal MP-Elect, Halifax West: Once more, MPs had been all elected of their respective ridings to characterize their communities. All of us have an obligation, although, to characterize our communities, however we even have an obligation to characterize all Canadians. And in doing so, proper now, the pandemic is a disaster throughout the nation, significantly in some provinces greater than others, and it’s incumbent on us to make sure that we set instance and we do get vaccinated. So I urge these MPs that aren’t vaccinated to please get themselves vaccinated…

Abigail Bimman: Sorry, Ms. Metlege Diab, I’m simply going to chop you off there since you’re answering about vaccination, however I used to be all in favour of your reply on digital Parliament. Do you imagine there must be digital sittings within the Home, committee conferences? Ought to digital nonetheless be on the desk at this level within the pandemic?

Lena Metlege Diab, Liberal MP-Elect, Halifax West: My choice could be in-person. As I mentioned earlier than, MPs had been elected to characterize their ridings and they should have a chance to do this. Having mentioned that, I feel returning November twenty second will give all of them a chance to truly get vaccinated, in the event that they haven’t but gotten vaccinated. And everyone knows they’re not going to have the ability to fly in to Ottawa for that. So I encourage all of them to get vaccinated.

Abigail Bimman: All proper, thanks. And Lisa Marie Barron, I do know there’s—we now have these two questions on the desk that you just haven’t had a query to reply there. So obligatory vaccinations for MPs, and what about the way forward for Parliament? Digital or in-person?

Lisa Marie Barron, NDP MP-Elect, Nanaimo—Ladysmith: Yeah, thanks. Jagmeet has made it very clear, Jagmeet Singh, our chief of the NDP, has made it very clear from the start that we must be setting sturdy management, an instance on tips on how to finest transfer ahead and we all know that with the extra of us which might be vaccinated, the higher. And so all NDP members of Parliament are double-vaccinated and, you already know, I’ve been double-vaccinated, my kids have been double-vaccinated. And so we positively imagine that our management must be setting that instance and persevering with to extend all those that are vaccinated.

So far as assembly, you already know, after all assembly in-person is all the time a lot better for us to have the ability to work collectively, however I’m going to proceed to hear for the recommendation from our medical well being specialists round, you already know, how we finest transfer ahead. We hope that this pandemic, that circumstances will lower, however the future’s unknown proper now, so we’ll see what our medical well being specialists suggest and we’ll, after all, proceed to be inventive to make sure that our ridings are represented. And yeah, choose to be in-person after all, however we’ll see what occurs.

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Abigail Bimman: We’ll see—rather a lot to see within the weeks forward. That’s on a regular basis we now have. Thanks a lot to our panel of latest MPs from coast to coast, an all-female panel. Thanks a lot for becoming a member of us on The West Block.

Nicely nonetheless forward, Quebec grapples with the potential penalties of a vaccine mandate in a employees strapped well being care sector.


Abigail Bimman: Welcome again. This week, Quebec’s well being minister introduced the province is suspending its obligatory vaccination requirement for well being care staff by one month. Christian Dubé says as many as 25 thousand staff should not vaccinated and if the plan to droop them with out pay this month went forward, the influence of labour shortages on an already stretched system could be too nice.

Christian Dubé, Quebec Well being Minister: “We need to give the unvaccinated employees further time to gather their dose, however I need to be clear: we’ll apply the obligatory vaccination for well being care staff, however suspending the 30-day deadline is one of the best answer underneath the circumstances.”

Abigail Bimman: And becoming a member of me now to debate that is Nathan Friedland, a nurse at a Montreal hospital. Thanks a lot for becoming a member of us and naturally, for all of your work on the frontlines. I need to ask what you consider this announcement. Will it’s sufficient to get as many as 25 thousand individuals vaccinated?

Nathan Friedland, Emergency Room Nurse, Montreal: I feel it’s a horrible resolution by the well being minister and no, I don’t suppose will probably be sufficient to get 22 thousand well being care staff vaccinated.

The entire thing behind well being care is there must be accountability. With out accountability, well being care doesn’t work. And the well being minister tried to carry us accountable and he failed. Now Mr. Dubé gave us a cause that 35 per cent of long-term care amenities would lose vital providers if he went forward with the deadline. I don’t must remind you that long-term care centres in Quebec had been like loss of life homes. There have been actually 1000’s and 1000’s of aged those that died in long-term care amenities on this province. We lead Canada in deaths. How is it that there are nonetheless well being care staff in long-term care amenities that aren’t vaccinated? These individuals are aged, they’re at-risk. They’re going to get a 3rd dose. This speaks to a scarcity of…

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Abigail Bimman: So might I ask you, Mr. Friedland, what—inform us in regards to the why since you work alongside—you already know loads of colleagues in well being care and we don’t usually speak in regards to the why behind the hesitancy. Why do you suppose there are these 1000’s of individuals nonetheless unvaccinated?

Nathan Friedland, Emergency Room Nurse, Montreal: It’s sadly a scarcity of professionalism, a lack of expertise and I hear causes like oh nicely, my physique can combat the virus higher than the vaccine can. The vaccine has a microchip in it. The federal government’s attempting to manage us. I imply these are well being care professionals. That is unprofessional of them.

Abigail Bimman: You’re listening to well being care professionals who imagine that there’s a microchip? Wow.

Nathan Friedland, Emergency Room Nurse, Montreal: Sure. Sure. Sure. I imply, that is simply unbelievable to me. And he had an opportunity to carry us accountable, which occurs very not often in well being care and he didn’t take it.

Abigail Bimman: I need to ask you what you suppose ought to have been finished in another way, as a result of had he, as you place it, held you and well being care staff to account, there could be this staffing scarcity. What do you suppose the federal government ought to do going ahead?

Nathan Friedland, Emergency Room Nurse, Montreal: I feel that no matter knowledge he was introduced with, that’s not the info that I see the place I work. And I work in a really busy emergency room that’s plagued with employees shortages and we’d have dealt with this deadline simply positive. Now if it’s a case of long-term care centres not having sufficient individuals vaccinated, which he acknowledged, I imply that’s clearly simply pathetic that these staff should not vaccinated after they noticed individuals of their amenities die from this virus. They need to all be vaccinated. A 100 per cent of them must be vaccinated by now. So his reasoning to me doesn’t maintain water. And now…

Abigail Bimman: Okay. I take your level about long-term care, however you suppose that hospitals would be capable to handle the burden if unvaxxed employees weren’t on the job?

Nathan Friedland, Emergency Room Nurse, Montreal: I might inform you that mine would have.

Abigail Bimman: All proper. Nicely thanks a lot in your insights into this matter. I actually admire your time right now.

Nathan Friedland, Emergency Room Nurse, Montreal: You’re welcome.

Abigail Bimman: That was Nathan Friedland, a nurse at a Montreal hospital. And sadly, that’s on a regular basis we now have. Thanks for spending a part of your Sunday with us. I’m Abigail Bimman. Have an important week.


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