Shutdowns are within provincial and municipal jurisdiction and can only be overridden by the federal government through the Emergencies Act. Provincial leaders have warned the prime minister against wading into provincial territory and, to date, Trudeau has opposed invoking federal powers.
"No, I am not," Trudeau told reporters when asked if he is considering a new nationwide lockdown.
Trudeau said support programs are in place, should individual jurisdictions choose to shutter doors.
"Going into lockdown and supporting businesses while we’re in that lockdown is a better way of ensuring their success in a few months, in a few years, than trying to tough through a virus that is running around unchecked," Trudeau said.
Trudeau’s comments come against a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in Canada. The second wave of the deadly pandemic has surpassed the severity experienced during the initial bout of the public health crisis, Canada’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Theresa Tam told reporters on Friday.
In its latest short-term projections, the Public Health Agency said it is anticipating up to 60,000 additional new cases and 806 virus-related deaths by November 30. The agency projects that if individuals increase their number of contacts, the country could see the daily case count rise to 60,000, up from nearly 5,000 today.
As of Friday, Canadian authorities have reported nearly 319,000 coronavirus and more than 11,300 virus-related deaths. There are 52,193 active cases across Canada, according to the country’s public health agency.