Earlier this week, the CBC reported that the Liberal Government is considering introducing legislation that would make it an offence to knowingly spread misinformation about COVID-19.
I am extremely concerned about this report.
To be clear, no one supports the intentional spreading of misinformation on COVID-19. That is why we already have laws to protect against such actions. Fraud and making false and dangerous health claims are both illegal presently.
The Government should not take advantage of a health crisis to infringe on our hard-fought fundamental rights.
This is all the more concerning given that only weeks ago, Health Minister Patty Hajdu accused a Canadian reporter of “feeding into conspiracy theories” for asking questions about the legitimacy of China’s COVID-19 case data. We now know that there is an abundance of reasons to question the information coming out of communist China, including a report by intelligence agencies in the United States indicating that the real data was suppressed.
Furthermore, two weeks ago, the Liberals said masks didn’t work. Now they say to wear a mask. They said closing borders didn’t work. Now they say it’s necessary.
Journalist Anthony Furey made the following observation in his April 4th article:
”Dr. Theresa Tam and her provincial counterparts will speak with absolute certainty on something (“Travel bans don’t work”) up until the moment they do a 180 and start saying the exact opposite.”
If the Liberals are concerned about misinformation, the Liberals should focus on getting their own facts straight rather than infringing on free speech and controlling what Canadians say online.
Our Conservative Party will always protect freedom of speech. We will oppose the Liberal government’s attempts to limit our freedoms and restrict people from challenging what the government says is or isn’t true.
As I said when the Liberals tried to bypass Parliamentary oversight a few weeks ago, we can never allow a crisis to be an excuse for surrendering our rights to Government under the guise of “protection”.
Update on Economic Assistance for COVID-19
As promised, I am continuing to update you on any new development to programs that may assist you in these times.
The Government has announced that criteria to access the previously-announced one-year interest-free $40,000 loans has been expanded. This loan is now available to businesses who paid between 20 thousand to 1.5 million in payroll last year. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000). Businesses should work with their financial institutions to access these loans.
The Government announced on April 15 that those making under $1000/month, seasonal workers whose work has been cancelled due to COVID, and those who have run out of EI since January 1st will soon be eligible for CERB. These changes are not yet in effect. I will inform you when they are implemented.
The Quarantine Act:
Travellers returning to Canada are required to self-isolate where they land. Those who do not have a clear quarantine plan will now be required to stay at hotels overseen and paid for by the Government.