Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has created a new cabinet committee to deal with the coronavirus outbreak and has tasked Chrystia Freeland to head it.
“We need to make sure that people make the right decisions. That’s why we put forward a committee that will be responsible for ensuring that Canadians have the right frame to make the good decisions for their families, for their communities,” Trudeau said in an appearance in St-Jerome, Que., north of Montreal.
“We need to keep alert, but we need to keep moving forward in a way that keeps Canadians safe and keeps our economy rolling.”
The COVID-19 committee is meant to complement the work being done by the government’s incident response group, Trudeau said. That group often includes top permanent officials in addition to politicians.
The cabinet committee will continue to monitor the health impacts of the virus to make sure the government response takes all possible measures to prevent and limit the spread in Canada, Trudeau said.
The other members include Industry Minister Navdeep Bains, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, Health Minister Patty Hajdu, Economic Development Minister Melanie Joly, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough.
Kirsty Duncan, deputy leader of the government in the House of Commons, will also be a “core participant.” Duncan is a medical geographer who studied and lectured on pandemics before she was elected to parliament and wrote a book on her studies of the 1918 Spanish flu. She also was minister of science for a time. -CINEWS