Beamsville, Ontario's Dillon's Distillers is diverting some of its whiskey operations into producing disinfectant alcohol and hand sanitizer needed to help combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the States, a number of boutique distilleries are doing the same, answering the public demand.
Now what we need is a government with enough courage to cajole, coerce or commandeer manufacturing plants to produce ventilators, respirators and other medical supplies so urgently needed for treatment of intensive care patients and in such short supply across the country.
And yes, Mr. Trudeau, that means you. As prime minister, your "fundamental obligations" are set out in the Emergencies Act, to wit, " the safety and security of the individual."
This pandemic is obviously a public welfare emergency under Part 1 of the Act which confers great powers on the federal government.
public welfare emergency means an emergency that is caused by a real or imminent
(a) fire, flood, drought, storm, earthquake or other natural phenomenon,
(b) disease in human beings, animals or plants, or
(c) accident or pollution
and that results or may result in a danger to life or property, social disruption or a breakdown in the flow of essential goods, services or resources, so serious as to be a national emergency.Bingo. This rings all the bells.
Why Mr. Trudeau has not already sought a public welfare emergency declaration is unclear. Why he has not already commandeered suitable manufacturing capacity for the production of essential equipment and supplies is unclear.
8 (1) While a declaration of a public welfare emergency is in effect, the Governor in Council may make such orders or regulations with respect to the following matters as the Governor in Council believes, on reasonable grounds, are necessary for dealing with the emergency:
(a) the regulation or prohibition of travel to, from or within any specified area, where necessary for the protection of the health or safety of individuals;
(c) the requisition, use or disposition of property;
(d) the authorization of or direction to any person, or any person of a class of persons, to render essential services of a type that that person, or a person of that class, is competent to provide and the provision of reasonable compensation in respect of services so rendered;
(e) the regulation of the distribution and availability of essential goods, services and resources;
(f) the authorization and making of emergency payments;
(g) the establishment of emergency shelters and hospitals;
Our government seems to have fallen far behind the power curve on this one. It's time they corrected that.