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Opposition leaders briefed on alarming rise in COVID-19 cases in Canada

Last Updated Nov 19, 2020 at 4:30 pm MST

A person wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 as they walk past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver Wednesday, November 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

OTTAWA — Federal opposition leaders have been given an advance look at grim new projections for the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.

Updated modelling that is expected to show the number of new cases rising dramatically over the next month is to be released Friday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invited opposition leaders to attend a confidential briefing today with chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam and her deputy, Dr. Howard Njoo.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says the briefing left him with the belief that Canada is “worse off” now than it was at the start of the pandemic in March.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls the projected case numbers “troubling” and Green Leader Annamie Paul says the briefing was “sobering.”

The Prime Minister’s Office says the purpose of the briefing was to urge opposition leaders to put aside partisanship and join in a common effort to urge Canadians to strictly limit their contacts with people outside their households.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19, 2020.

The Canadian Press