Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise tonight.
We had yet another confirmed case of the coronavirus over the weekend. This brings the total in Canada to four confirmed cases. While the overall risk to Canadians remains low, we are still depending on the government to assure Canadians that the spread is properly contained.
We received an informative update from the government this morning about its plan to evacuate Canadians from Hubei province in China. However, some details are still unclear, including how many Canadians will be evacuated and whether permanent residents travelling without children will be allowed to return to Canada.
The details from the government have been slow to come and have even cast doubts on the government's planning. A representative from the government appeared on CTV's Power Play on Thursday. When asked what Canadians could expect from the government given the news that the World Health Organization had to declare a global health emergency, she responded, “They don't know yet. We're working on it”.
Canadians are looking to the government for answers. While we appreciate the updates from government officials, there are still many questions. Last week we reconvened the health committee early to get answers directly from the appropriate officials. We will continue meetings this week as we continue to seek answers on this virus.
At home, many Canadians are wondering how to protect themselves and others. My constituency office has received many calls from people wondering what they should be doing to ensure they do not become sick with the coronavirus. What is the plan, knowing that more cases are likely to be confirmed, and how can Canadians be assured that the spread is being properly contained? This is in large part what they are asking.
We just found out today at a health committee meeting earlier this evening that the government still does not even know where the plane from the first case is. This is concerning not only to me but to the many Canadians wondering how the government is handling the situation, who it is talking to and what the plan is going forward. It took about three weeks to get the quarantine plan from the government.
Could the member on the other side please assure Canadians what the plan is?