Policy Reversal – Liberals start recommending wearing masks

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on May 20, 2020

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Medical Officer for COVID-19, downplayed how useful masks were as a preventative measure, but since reversed her position, earlier on April 6th saying that masks elevated personal safety.

As of today, Dr. Tam has not come out on behalf of the Public Health Agency and now officially recommends the use of non-medical masks out in public, when social distancing is not possible.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was seen going into Parliament wearing his own face mask, per new government recommendations.

Trudeau had stated “In situations where I am either walking through the halls of parliament or going to my office and coming in proximity to people, I’ve chosen to start wearing a mask.”

Dr. Tam said, “If you can’t predict whether you can maintain that two-metre distance, then it’s recommended that you wear the non-medical mask or facial covering.”

Dr. Tam also added that “this will help us reopen and add another layer to how you go out safely,” which is a significant departure from her previous comments. 

Previously, she stated that only people who were sick should be wearing masks based on World Health Organization recommendations, despite evidence to the contrary.

Despite the added precautions to flatten the curve and gradually reopen the economy, there have been numerous policy reversals during the pandemic.

Dr. Tam was also involved in another policy reversal. From the onset of the pandemic, she said that it was unnecessary to close Canada’s borders, while the Liberal government later closed the US-Canada border that was recently extended until June 21.

Dr. Tam in an interview with the CBC had partly excused this reversal explaining that, “in the end it wasn’t that effective, if you actually think about the countries in the end that were impacted, because I think from a public health perspective we always knew that the border was just one layer of additional measure.” 

Back in mid-March, the Canadian government sent China 16 tons of personal protective medical equipment with Global Affairs Canada saying it was meant “to support China’s ongoing response to the outbreak,” which contradicts Dr. Tam’s claims that masks were not helpful. 

Canada later had to have China and Taiwan ship in protective medical supplies, having run into a shortage in mid-to-late April.

Another statement made by the Liberals has also been reversed. Prime Minister Trudeau, back on April 9, had said that “We will not be coming back to our former normal situation; we can’t do that until we have developed a vaccine, and that could take 12 to 18 months.”

The indecisive action and corrections made by the Canadian government have undoubtedly added to frustrations surrounding the lockdowns and restrictions on public life.

Uncertainty in government policy can and has made the public anxious, exacerbated by unemployment, permanent closures of businesses, and delays in other essential surgeries. 

With the federal government and the provinces having scheduled plans on reopening the economy, the country may get back to a more stable footing.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

One response to “Policy Reversal – Liberals start recommending wearing masks”

  1. Weyland Yutani says:

    Dr. Tam and the Liberal gov’t are incompetent, and have been bought by the Communist Chinese gov’t. I do not listen to them, won’t comply with them, and most certainly will not wear a mask, at any time, for any purpose.