Canada’s Health Minister has provided clarity on why the federal government is not declaring a national state of emergency under the federal Emergencies Act yet.

Patty Hajdu says locking down a whole country could cause more hardship for Canadians in the battle against the spread of COVID-19.

She says it would damage the supply chain of needed services, like food, medical equipment, and essential service workers being able to travel from region-to-region.

Earlier today Prime Minister Trudeau said, “At this time, we do not see the federal emergencies act as an essential tool today, but we are continuing to look at the situation we’ll make decisions based on the best recommendations of science.”

Minister Hajdu said there are some vaccines that are being tested across the world but says that a treatment for COVID-19 could be 12 to 18 months away.  She said social distancing will be the norm for Canadians for “months.”

During his daily address, Justin Trudeau also gave more details about how the government is going to bring thousands of Canadians abroad home.

Negotiations with countries are underway in order to get proper permission for planes to land.

The first chartered flight will arrive in Morocco this weekend and will return to Montreal.  All passengers will be screened for symptoms and if they are present, they won’t be allowed to board the plane.  All returning residents will have to self-isolate.

He did say that some Canadians won’t be able to get home depending on where they are.  The government is making $5,000.00 available for Canadians abroad in order to assist with expenses.

Here at home the government of the Northwest Territories will close the border to travel in order to protect smaller northern communities where they don’t have access to the same services as the southern party of the country.   The federal government will ensure that essential products will continue to flow into the Territories.

The Canada-U.S. border closed at midnight to all non-essential travel.

There are 1,148 COVID-19 cases in Canada with 13 deaths.

Calling this a “tough week” Trudeau ended his daily address Saturday asking Canadians to continue to be kind to each other and stand up to discrimination wherever we see it.