Lost in the news coverage of the Canadian election and the plethora of promises by the ruling Liberal Party is an interesting development which may portend a new technique for handling COVID-19 positive Canadians.
Here is the announcement from the Government of Canada:
Notice that the Trudeau government keeps reassuring Canadians that use of these isolation sites by Canadians is "voluntary" and is being done to ensure that people living in crowded conditions have the ability to "self-isolate".
The government also provided some interesting quotes with this news release:
“Protecting Canadians from COVID-19 and helping stop the spread is a community effort. The Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites Program supports municipalities across Canada, including these projects in Ontario, so they can assist residents with safe places for self-isolation.”
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
“We appreciate the funding and support from the Government of Canada to aid in Hamilton’s community COVID-19 response. This funding helps sustain and offset the costs of a critical support in our community response to COVID-19 providing access to isolation accommodations to eligible community members who otherwise cannot safely isolate at home—protecting their families and keeping their community safe.”
City of Hamilton Mayor
“On behalf of Hastings County Council, I would like to thank the Public Health Agency of Canada for their work in helping to support our vulnerable population. These isolation sites will help prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially for our residents that live in crowded or precarious housing conditions, who will now be able to safely isolate and keep themselves, and those around them safe.”
Warden Rick Phillips
The government is providing the following:
1.) up to $5,525,126 in funding to four projects across Ontario to operate nine isolation sites totalling 194 rooms, including:
2.) up to $1,374,788 with five sites totalling 120 rooms for the Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board;
3.) up to $1,551,066 with one site totalling 20 rooms for the County of Hastings;
4.) up to $2,275,600 with two sites totalling 40 rooms for the Kenora District Services Board; and
5.) up to $323,672 with one site totalling 14 rooms for the City of Hamilton.
The Trudeau government claims that it "….is providing a total of approximately $100 million in funding to municipalities and health regions to establish safe voluntary isolation sites across the country. This funding is part of Canada’s rapid response to the spread of COVID-19."
I find it rather amusing that this program is part of the Trudeau government's "rapid response to the spread of COVID-19" nearly a year and a half after the pandemic began. I guess that "rapid" is in the eye of the beholder.
To date, the Trudeau government has spent $100.6 million in funding to establish safe isolation sites in Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columba and Nova Scotia with the first site opening in Toronto in September 2020. These sites have been used by approximately 9,432 individuals since the first site was opened which works out to over $10,000 per individual at this point.
Australia is working toward a similar purpose-built quarantining system building its rather Orwellian-sounding Centre for National Resilience in Melbourne with the following measures strictly put into place, keeping in mind that "attendance" is NOT voluntary:
1.) All staff will be vaccinated before they work at the quarantine facility.
2.) All staff will undertake daily health screening, COVID-19 tests and temperature checks. Staff will also be encouraged to get tested on their days off.
3.) Contact between staff and residents will be minimal. When required, all staff will follow strict procedures and be fitted and trained in full PPE, including N-95 masks.
4.) Staff will be solely deployed to the mandatory quarantine program — they will not work anywhere else.
5.) Staff will be provided with everything they need onsite, including all meals, and will not leave the facility during their shift.
6.) Access to the hub will be strictly controlled and enforced by Victoria Police and highly trained staff.
The Melbourne facility will be similar to that already used at the Centre for National Resilience in Howard Springs, Darwin.
Here is an interesting quote from the Melbourne Centre's Project Summary:
So there you have it; Australia's government, purveyors of some of the most stringent lockdown measures in the world, believes that it will be further three years before the pandemic is under control.
Here is a quote from the webpage for the Darwin centre to get a sense of what life will be like for residents of the Centres:
"Chief Health Officer Direction 55 sets out what a person must do when in quarantine at the Centre for National Resilience and at Alice Springs Quarantine Facility. This direction is law – every person in quarantine must do what the Direction says. If a person does not follow the Direction, the Northern Territory Police may issue an Infringement Notice with a financial penalty.
Quarantine facility staff will remind you about wearing your mask, staying on your veranda and physically distancing through information in your resident booklet, by sending you sms reminder texts and verbally in person if we see you are not following the Direction."
It sounds rather like a prison to me. Any resistance will be met with the full strength of the law.
Now, let's go back to Canada's plan. The big question is how long will these safe isolation sites remain voluntary for Canadians? How long will it be before police or the military show up at private residences and drag people off involuntarily because they are deemed a health hazard to their own families? How long will it be before the so-called antivaxxers are dragged off because they refuse to be part of an experiment?
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