Nobody really knows what things will be like when this pandemic is finally over but the longer it drags on, the greater the health and financial toll on the entire country.
“Unfortunately it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better, all the more reason to make sure that we’re flattening the curve and making sure we get through this,” said Parry Sound-Muskoka Member of Parliament Scott Aitchison via a telephone conversation from his home on Wednesday.
Aitchison said he and staff have been working remotely trying to respond to hundreds of calls and messages from constituents concerned about their ability to stay afloat financially. “The longer it drags on, the longer it’s going to take to rebuild the economy and the deeper into financial problems we go, that’s all there is to it,” he added.
As a member of the opposition, Aitchison said his Conservative Party has been working with Trudeau’s Liberal government to come up with faster and more efficient ways to get money to citizens impacted by the virus. That includes the ability to use the Canada Revenue Agency to deposit $2,000 directly into people’s accounts for up to four months if you made at least $5,000 last year. You can find out more about that here.
Aitchison said the Employment Insurance system was not designed to handle the large volumes of people applying. “We don’t want people to get laid off. We want to try to keep these jobs existing so that when we do kind of get back to running again that those jobs still exist.”
He said it’s imperative that people take this pandemic seriously. “It’s a serious situation and we all need to pull together.”
When asked how far law enforcement should go, including invoking special measures, in order to ensure that people are complying with the directives from public health to physically distance themselves from others in order to stem the spread of the virus, Aitchison said, “you should be free to do what you want to do unless it has a negative impact on your neighbour, and this is the kind of thing right now where the situation is going to have a fairly negative impact on your neighbour so we have to take it seriously and I hope we don’t come to that, but we’ll see in the coming days and weeks what we have to do.”
Obviously my primary concern is the health and safety of everybody and so I can’t reiterate enough the importance for everybody to be following the guidelines of social distancing and isolating at home. The sooner we can, as I keep saying, flatten the curve and stop this virus, the sooner we can end it and make sure people who have compromised immune systems and seniors are healthy and don’t succumb to it, but it’s also the sooner we can start rebuilding which we’re going to have to do.
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!