Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau returns to Rideau cottage following a bi-weekly news conference on the Covid-19 pandemic in Ottawa, Ontario, on November 27, 2020.(AP)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau returns to Rideau cottage following a bi-weekly news conference on the Covid-19 pandemic in Ottawa, Ontario, on November 27, 2020.(AP)

Justin Trudeau’s office mistakenly sends out statement rebuking Oppn leader in a conversation before it actually happened

The actual account of the conversation was far more amicable, as it read that they “discussed the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as vaccine distribution in Canada”
By Anirudh Bhattacharyya | Hindustan Times, Toronto
PUBLISHED ON NOV 28, 2020 01:47 PM IST

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called out Opposition leader Erin O’Toole and his Conservative Party for spreading “misinformation” about the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a readout issued by the PMO.

But there was a problem with that statement - it was issued before the two leaders had their conversation. An embarrassed PMO later had to clarify that the draft had been mistakenly circulated.

The actual account of the dialogue was far more amicable, as it read that they “discussed the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as vaccine distribution in Canada” other than the incoming Joe Biden administration in the US, and the fate of two Canadians being held by China.

The original readout which “raised concerns around Covid-19 misinformation being promoted by Conservative members of parliament” was sent 45 minutes before the scheduled time of the call and the final conciliatory version issued late in the evening.

That faux pas came even as Trudeau’s government is facing mounting criticism over its slow reaction to the pandemic, particularly with regard to timely procurement of a vaccine by Canada and the lack of manufacturing facilities within the country, leading to reliance on imports.

That matter has become even more of a lightning rod since Canada recorded a single-day high of cases on Friday, at 5,963, taking the total to 358,774 with the death toll at 11,894.

Trudeau has now assured Canadians that all those who want to be vaccinated will be able to get a shot by September next year, while public health officials asserted that doses will start flowing in by the first quarter of 2021.

Those assurances came as the government also announced a military commander will lead the massive distribution effort. Major-General Dany Fortin, presently chief of staff to the Canadian joint operations command, has been given that task while a new unit, the national operations centre, has been established within the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The centre will coordinate the vaccination effort and will be supported by Canada’s armed forces.

“Canada is well prepared for large-scale rollouts of vaccines, but this will be the biggest immunisation in the history of the country. We must reach everyone who wants a vaccine, no matter where they live,” Trudeau said, according to CBC News.

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