The First Week of March

The First Week of March

Toronto calls in the superheroes to help with vaccinating young children against COVID-19, but there are still fears about the long-term side effects of childhood immunizations. (Photo: MCT )

The first week of March was as grim and grey as all the other weeks before in Canadian history: an average of 30 days of snow fell and the worst blizzard of the year blanketed entire cities. But April was one for the books, and on April 1, our country celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday.

By the end of the year, COVID-19 had spread to almost all provinces and territories, including ours, and had become a major threat to health security. One by one, provinces and municipalities had declared states of emergency. The province of Quebec was on the brink of bankruptcy. Some provinces had declared a second state of emergency. Our health system was overwhelmed and our hospitals were already full to capacity, and more than half of our emergency rooms were packed more than double- and triple-booked.

By late April, our government had declared states of emergency in every province and territory. On April 22, Premier Doug Ford announced that Ontario now had a total of five state of emergencies. At the same time, the federal government had declared Ontario a state of emergency, and Ford had issued similar orders in all other provinces and territories.

In this state of emergency, Ontario had declared itself under a state of emergency that would last until at least the end of June.

What caused this to happen? There were a number of significant reasons for this, including the fact that the provinces and territories were acting together after the federal government had declared a state of emergency; that the provincial and territorial governments were coordinating their actions to deal with COVID-19 (or so it seemed); and that the provincial and territorial governments were united in their effort to combat COVID-19 and the state of emergency.

I’ll tell you what, I’m with the provinces on this one. Our health care system is already under strain. Hospitals are already at maximum capacity. With more state of emergency declarations, our health care system and health care providers are not going to be able to fully meet the needs of our citizens under this kind of strain.

So there’s a strong argument that the provincial governments of Ontario, on behalf of all of us, should declare a state of emergency at the same time we’re declaring a state of

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