(St. John’s) Following Ottawa’s demands, Atlantic provinces are considering how they can help Ontario as a deadly record-breaking third wave threatens to impact the province’s health care system.
Officials in the four Atlantic provinces said Monday that they spoke with Ontario Premier Doug Ford or federal officials – or both – to see what they could do for the most populous province in Canada.
Ontario reported 4,447 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, while only 30 new cases were reported across the Atlantic.
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Fure has said that his province will definitely send frontline health workers, including his wife.
“I spoke with Premier (Doug Ford) on Saturday, he was very happy Newfoundland and Labrador are leading the charge,” Fury told reporters in St. John’s, Newfoundland on Monday. Ontario is the center of the country. We all have friends and family in Ontario. And we all know that COVID-19 does not respect any geographical boundary. ”
He said he spoke to an “emotional” Doug Ford on Sunday afternoon and confirmed his commitment to sending assistance to Newfoundland and Labrador.
“He believes that small contributions can have a big impact, and he feels the stress and strain of all of Ontario, especially in the medical system,” Fury said. After Monday’s morning conversation with Ontario Deputy Health Minister Helen Angus, Mr. Fury said he had an idea of what Ontario needed and hoped to have a plan in place Tuesday to send help.
He said that his wife, Dr. Allison Fury, is eager to be with him. He worked in the frontline at a COVID-19 evaluation unit in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Other Atlantic premieres are not so sure about their contributions. Ian Rankin, a spokesman for the Nova Scotia Premier, said Monday that Rankin had asked health officials to consider what they could offer to Ford. “Nova Scotia must be vigilant,” Matt Heffler said in an email statement. The nature of the epidemic (means) that we can face new cases at any time. ”
In New Brunswick, a spokesman for Premier Blaine Higgs said that any decision to help Ontario would depend on the province’s security. New Brunswick is struggling with its own high cases, with the Edmondston area still in lockdown. Nicole Carlin said in an email statement, “Any human resources that can be shared will also be based on our province’s health professionals who will work voluntarily to help in another province.”
Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King said he is trying to do what he can. “Prime Minister Ford and Prime Minister Trudeau know that our health human resources are not more abundant in Prince Edward Island,” he said at a press conference on Monday. We have been asked to see if we can do something to help, and we are making a lot of effort to accommodate that request. ”
Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador reported three new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. New Brunswick reported nine new infections and Nova Scotia reported 15.
With information from Kevin Bissett in Fredericton and Keith Doucette in Halifax
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