FALL RIVER: The local MP feels Nova Scotia has the worlds eyes on it and its response to COVID19.
Darrell Samson, the Liberal MP for Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook, spoke about the federal governments response to the pandemic that swept across the world.
He talked about how Canada was doing well and successful before the COVID19 pandemic hit.
“We were doing very well and the gap between those in need and the middle class had tightened,” he said. “We felt we were doing an incredibly good job on continuing the economy, and then COVID19 hit. Life just changed over.
“We went from the lowest unemployment rate in 40 years to double digits in two months. We then had to put programs together as quickly as possible to support Canadians.”
Samson said that was challenging.
“I felt a sense of democracy at the best working. As soon as we went into the crisis, we had to respond quickly to the needs, so the people communicated quickly to our office, with somewhere between 200-300 emails and calls per day.
“When you put programs out quickly, there are going to be errors and mistakes. But we were able to help individuals, families, and businesses.”
He said he enjoyed the meetings they held over Zoom for 49 nights with the Liberal caucus as they etched a plan of what works and what didn’t for certain groups so they could best help all Canadians.
“What I saw over a three-month period was tweaking so to ensure our safety net was picking up a much larger group every time,” said Samson.
Samson said he thinks other places are watching what the province is doing closely.
“I think we’re the envy of the world because they look at N.S., and Atlantic Canada, especially N.S., it means individuals have taken it upon themselves to do things safely and follow the proper health guidelines.”
He praised the leadership of the provinces chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, and the fact that the provincial government listened.
“We know when you don’t listen what happens. You just need to point to the U.S. or some provinces here in Canada and you see what happens,” said Samson. “Alberta and Ontario, the numbers are still remarkably high there.
“Some provinces were slow reacting, and thus it has been more challenging on their people, on their communities, and on Canada.”