Duncan slams gov’t in House for quarantine communication

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By Nick Seebruch
Duncan slams gov’t in House for quarantine communication
Eric Duncan in Parliament on Tuesday, February 18, 2020.

OTTAWA, Ontario – During a heated exchange in the House of Commons between Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry MP Eric Duncan and Parliamentary Secretary to the Health Minister, Darren Fisher, Duncan once again slammed the government for failing to communicate the impending quarantine at the Nav Centre.

READ MORE: Public updated on upcoming quarantine at Nav Centre

The exchange occurred yesterday, Feb. 18.

“Mr. Speaker our community was surprised to learn late Saturday through social media, that a Coronavirus quarantine site would be established at the Nav Centre in Cornwall,” Duncan said. “The mayor and local officials were not advised. Local residents and employees who work there were left in the dark for nearly two days with valid questions about the suitability of this building that has hundreds of the general public going through it daily. The roll out of this site was a communications failure that was completely avoidable. Can the minister explain why the people of Cornwall and local elect”

Fisher countered that the current quarantine site at Canadian Forces Base Trenton was at capacity and that the Nav Centre had the facilities the government needed to adequately house the repatriated Canadians from the cruise ship Diamond Princess during their quarantine.

Fisher further alleged that Duncan was invited to speak with the Health Minister about the quarantine, but that Duncan rejected the offer.

“To clarify to the member, the Minister offered the meeting after the news was made late Saturday night through social media. A little bit to late. That’s your clarification. Mr. Speaker, to clarify, the Nav Centre is not a military base like CFB Trenton. It is one large building open to the public 24/7,” Duncan said. “While flood victims and asylum seekers have been hosted at the site before, they’ve never hosted a quarantine for a global health emergency. It is apples to oranges to compare to past practices when it comes to protocols, security and safety for the employees and those who visit the site. Basic information should’ve been provided immediately, not days later.”

Fisher reminded Duncan and the House that all Canadians repatriated from the Diamond Princess will be screened for the Coronavirus before they board and any who show symptoms will not be allowed on the flight.

The passengers of the Diamond Princess are expected to arrive at the Nav Centre Friday, or over the weekend.

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