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Trudeau's efforts to bring rivals onside falters in face of new COVID-19 modelling

Last Updated Nov 21, 2020 at 11:29 am MDT

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s effort to try and bring rivals onside to help communicate the dramatic implications of rising COVID-19 infections appears to have faltered.

While Trudeau stood in front of his home Friday and implored Canadians to stay in theirs, opposition leaders didn’t echo that message.

Trudeau had given them a briefing late Thursday on the new modelling data that predicts as many as 20,000 new cases a day by the end of December without urgent action.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole issued a scathing statement about the briefing, laying the blame for soaring numbers on the government, and then pivoted Friday to virtual campaign-style events.

And NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, while supporting public health measures, said they are meaningless if the Liberals don’t do more to support people who can’t easily abide by them.

Trudeau says he expects his political opponents to criticize him, as that is part of democracy, but hopes they are equally committed to working with government to help people.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 21, 2020.

The Canadian Press