This morning, I was watching “The Sunday Scrum” on CBC News Network. There was a moderator and four panelists, all grappling with the coronavirus. At one point, a woman said “Let’s bring in the army.” Two of her colleagues reacted with stunned faces, and then said that this reaction would be “over the top”. It seems to me that the other two folks danced around the issue.
The army? Sounds like a doomsday movie where looters are shot on sight. But that wasn’t at all what the woman was proposing.
We’re in the middle of “There’s a big problem. What do we do?” Since early March, the Canadian Government has slowly ratcheted up its solutions:
1. We recommend that …
2. It is strongly advised that …
3. You are ordered to … (no consequences mentioned)
4. You are ordered to … (mild consequences mentioned)
5. You are ordered to … (hefty fines and possibly jail terms mentioned)
6. You are ordered to … (police active in fining and arresting people)
According to the Canada Census, about 37,500,000 Canadians were alive in 2019, and about 30,400,000 of them were adults. If 95% of us adults are abiding by the directives for physical distancing, staying away from groups and washing our hands, that would leave about 1,520,000 who aren’t.
In 2018, the estimated number of police officers in Canada was 68,562. Divide one by the other and you get 22. That’s the number of coronavirus offenders that each officer would have to keep track of, as well as doing their other duties. And really, are 95% of us following the rules? Plus left out of this guesswork are young people up to the age of 17.
I say invoke the Emergencies Act. This would allow the deployment of the Armed Forces across our country. It’s not a restriction of our civil liberties. For we are not at liberty to infect others and increase the spread of this disease.
If this is overreacting in the usual way of thinking, I’m okay with it. We need to save ourselves.