We talk a lot and with good reason about the slowness of the Trudeau government at present.
It is slow to connect with how – or ways – to limit travelers bringing new variants of COVID here in their luggage.
Personalizing the dispute excessively, François Legault attacked Tuesday by name “Justin Trudeau”. “I do not understand it”, he hammered.
Difficult to understand indeed.
But we should also stop at the slowness of Quebec. Which was revealed to the National Director of Public Health (DNSP) Horacio Arruda, the same day.
To a clear question: in substance “Why doesn’t Quebec do with the Quebec Public Health Act what Ottawa is asked to do with the Quarantine Act?” – that is to say, forcing travelers to isolate themselves for 14 days – Mr. Arruda had a disconcerting response.
“I should consult” the lawyers, he replied, as if he had just discovered this avenue!
If this was indeed a sudden discovery, wouldn’t it be disheartening? The risk of travel has been raised for more than a month. How can the DNSP not yet have been duly informed about the legal dimensions of the issue?
Was Mr. Legault bluffing last week when he said his government was considering taking on the problem itself?
By the way, “Le Journal” has surveyed constitutional experts and some are categorical: if the Quebec rules target people already in the territory, Quebec can act.
Let us repeat: we know this travel risk. The pandemic has been raging for nearly 11 months and, from the outset, the phenomenon of travelers returning after the spring break was pointed out by the government as a cause of the introduction here of this damn virus.
Why, while, now, variants want to complicate or even hinder the way out of the crisis, our authorities do not seem more ready to manage this dimension?
Mr. Arruda was not Tuesday at a first legal quack.
On May 12, he said that making it compulsory to wear a mask in public raised “issues with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms”. Hypothesis in no way founded, but which delayed the application of a crucial measure in the fight against the pandemic.
Who legally advises our DNSP? Or would he be inattentive to this dimension, would he neglect it?
Speaking of inattention, let’s remember that in March 2020, when he started to manage the pandemic (telling us that everything would be fine and that fear made doing business that had “no criss of common sense”) , Mr. Arruda was returning from Morocco.
What makes “no sense” in fact is that he, the DNSP, on his return, never did quarantine …
I am happy that our authorities, according to the cliché they like to use, claim to “build the plane in flight”. I will certainly not say that their task is simple.
But the metaphor is less and less suitable. And more and more embarrassing. “The plane under construction” should have been able to land for a long time! Should be almost complete.
And its passengers? Sent to mandatory quarantine. At their expense!