Trudeau not declaring national state of emergency for COVID-19 yet

Trudeau not declaring national state of emergency for COVID-19 yet
TORONTO -- Despite several states of emergency being declared by provincial governments across the country, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he won’t be invoking a national one just yet.

Trudeau said the federal government is looking at a broad array of measures to respond to the growing health emergency and they haven’t “removed from the table” any options.

“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,” he told reporters gathered outside of Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Saturday, where he has been in self-isolation for just over a week.

The federal Emergencies Act , which was formally known as the War Measures Act, would give the government “extraordinary powers” to ensure the safety and security of Canadians during a national emergency.

These powers could include regulating or prohibiting travel within Canada, evacuations, removing or requisitioning personal property, order people to deliver essential services, regulating the distribution of essential goods and services, making emergency payments and compensation, and imposing fines and jail terms to anyone who contravenes the orders.

When asked what the federal government was looking for before declaring a state of emergency, Trudeau responded that the key issue is determining whether there are things they need to be able to do that they cannot do under the existing regulations.
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