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The West Block – Episode 8, Season 11 – Nationwide

The West Block – Episode 8, Season 11 – Nationwide

Episode 8, Season 11
Sunday, December 19, 2021

Host: Mercedes Stephenson

Omar Alghabra, Transport Minister
Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan, Canadian Armed Forces

Location: Ottawa, ON


Mercedes Stephenson: This week on The West Block…

Jean-Yves Duclos, Well being Minister: “The epidemiological scenario is altering quickly.”

Mercedes Stephenson: Considerations the rising Omicron wave might develop into a tsunami.

Dawna Friesen, World Nationwide Anchor: “Attempting to blunt the affect of Omicron.”

Unknown Male Speaker: “Knowledge could be very clear that that is extremely transmissible.”

Mercedes Stephenson: As Canadians rethink their vacation plans, what’s Ottawa doing to arrange the nation for what some say could possibly be the toughest part of the pandemic?

Additionally this week…

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Anita Anand, Defence Minister: “We’re sorry. I’m sorry.”

Mercedes Stephenson: After historic apology to survivors of navy sexual misconduct, what’s subsequent? How lengthy will it take to rework Nationwide Defence? We discuss to the overall charged with reworking the tradition of the armed forces: Lieutenant-Basic Jennie Carignan.

It’s Sunday, December nineteenth, and that is The West Block.

I’m Mercedes Stephenson, thanks for becoming a member of us in the present day.

Final week, the federal authorities suggested Canadians in opposition to non-essential worldwide journey in an effort to guard in opposition to the Omicron variant, whereas Ontario and Quebec introduced hundreds of latest COVID-19 infections.

On Friday, the federal authorities reintroduced the requirement for pre-arrival destructive PCR COVID-19 exams for all travellers coming into Canada no matter journey period.

The speedy rise in instances and the altering well being recommendation forward of the vacations, although, has many Canadians pissed off and questioning what they need to do with deliberate holidays and journeys to see household.

Becoming a member of us now to assist us unwrap all this and determine it out is the Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra. Minister, thanks for becoming a member of us. How are you?

Omar Alghabra, Transport Minister: I’m good, Mercedes. Thanks very a lot for having me on.

Mercedes Stephenson: that is the information no person needed, however it’s the information that we’re confronted with and Canadians now need to make some fairly powerful selections. You might be advising in opposition to worldwide journey. Loads of of us have holidays booked. They really feel they adopted all the foundations. They’ve waited. They’re questioning why they need to not journey overseas if Omicron is already right here.

Omar Alghabra, Transport Minister: Mercedes consider me, I get no satisfaction, nor do I get any pleasure out of this. However what we’re witnessing is that this new variant that’s quickly transmitting amongst people at a fee that we had by no means seen earlier than. And we actually determined to take the step to advise all Canadians to postpone their non-essential journey as a way to defend them. To guard them first from contracting this variant, or COVID, but in addition to guard them in opposition to any sudden adjustments of border measures both in Canada or world wide, the place we don’t wish to see any Canadian get caught or having to take care of any signs overseas. So it’s actually primarily based on the data that we now have and it’s out of prudence and look after Canadians that we’re advising them in opposition to non-essential worldwide journey.

Mercedes Stephenson: Whenever you talked about the doubtless altering border measures, lots of of us thought final week whenever you had been asserting a few of these adjustments that it would embody quarantines once more. Is {that a} risk? I do know it’s an element lots of people try to calculate into their resolution on what to do. Might you be reintroducing a quarantine for folks returning to Canada?

Omar Alghabra, Transport Minister: Mercedes let me say it once more. We’re at all times assessing and monitoring the scenario, however we’re additionally consulting medical public well being specialists and dissecting the data that we get, and we won’t hesitate if the proof proves that we want further measures.

Presently, we now have a number of the hardest now border measures, but when we have to add one other layer of safety as a result of that’s the recommendation we obtain, we won’t hesitate to take action. So it’s actually prudent for all Canadians to keep away from non-essential journey and by the best way, we’re not solely speaking about Canada altering its personal border measures. There’s a excessive threat that different international locations might change their very own border measures.

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Mercedes Stephenson: In relation to the science, listening to the docs all through this week right here in Ottawa, they’ve been saying their main concern is definitely group unfold in Canada. It’s not worldwide journey. Loads of scientists say journey bans don’t work. It’s already right here, it’s too late. So what’s the science behind your resolution to herald these journey measures if the actual concern is group unfold?

Omar Alghabra, Transport Minister: Initially, let me say you’re proper. The group transmission is the place a lot of the transmission happens and it’s actually vital for Canadians to observe native public well being recommendation, to get vaccinated, to keep away from giant gatherings the place potential unfold might happen. The journey measures are simply an added measure. Once more, the science behind it’s, which makes lots of sense, is the much less folks have alternative to work together with different folks, the much less threat they put themselves in. And if they’re overseas, if they’re internationally—God forbid they contract COVID—we’re at an obstacle as a authorities or as a public well being system to supply providers to Canadian residents, but in addition they is likely to be at-risk of being caught in that nation. There’s additionally a threat of bringing the virus again with them. So it’s only a matter of chance. It’s a matter of precaution. It’s a matter of prudence. We predict it’s finest for Canadians to attempt to reduce as a lot interplay as doable and likewise by the best way, different international locations, we’re not likely certain about their public well being measures. We’re not even certain about their public well being system so it’s out of precaution and out of prudence to guard the well being and security of all Canadians.

Mercedes Stephenson: Now I simply wish to play a clip from certainly one of Canada’s prime docs, who our viewers will acknowledge, on the recommendation that they’re giving to politicians versus the recommendation that politicians are implementing. Take a hearken to this.

Dr. Howard Njoo, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Public Well being Company of Canada: “We acknowledge that there are different issues at play as properly past simply the strictly kind of technical public well being recommendation that we could also be giving to minsters.”

Mercedes Stephenson: These different issues sound so much like politics, minister. Some persons are saying that is simply political theatre. What’s strictly the recommendation that you simply’re really getting from the scientists primarily based on what Dr. Njoo’s is saying there?

Omar Alghabra, Transport Minister: I believe Dr. Njoo was speaking about operational issues. Consider me, there isn’t a political achieve for me to face earlier than you right here and earlier than the Canadian public simply round Christmas to say please cancel all of your journey plans. I don’t see this as a political theatre in any respect. That is crucial. We’re being trustworthy with Canadians. We’re being candid with Canadians primarily based on the data that we now have, primarily based on the recommendation that we obtain. Sure, there are operational issues on how we implement recommendation, how shortly can we ramp up sure measures. However on the finish of the day, it’s actually all these precautions and all these measures are carried out to guard the well being and security of Canadians. And as I stated, I don’t suppose—I want I didn’t have to do that. I want none of us needed to undergo this, however it’s actually a crucial recommendation and a crucial measure to guard everybody.

Mercedes Stephenson: I do wish to ask you about testing at airports and land borders. It’s one thing you and I talked about a few weeks in the past whenever you had been on the present. You had stated that you simply anticipated the testing at airports to mainly be ramped up that weekend. It’s nonetheless not all the best way up. There’s nonetheless not the testing a land borders with folks crossing again in from the US. If the science is there to assist that testing and to mandate it, why has your authorities not gotten totally up to the mark but and why is it not constant for each particular person coming throughout from the US within the land border?

Omar Alghabra, Transport Minister: Mercedes, two weeks in the past, once I mentioned this with you, I instructed you that it’s going to take some days to ramp up our effort. We’re really doing rather well with testing travellers coming from outdoors the US. Minister Duclos on Friday stated that we are actually testing 21 thousand day by day travellers out of 23 [thousand].

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Simply two weeks in the past, we had been at round testing 11 thousand. So we’ve greater than doubled the numbers. We’re virtually now testing everybody. In relation to the U.S. border, we proceed to have these random obligatory testing that roughly exams about 15 to twenty per cent of incoming travellers…

Mercedes Stephenson: However why isn’t it a 100 per cent, although? I imply what’s the science that the chance is decrease for somebody driving throughout the border than somebody flying throughout the border?

Omar Alghabra, Transport Minister: In the event you recall, we talked in regards to the U.S. and to this present day, we nonetheless haven’t included testing all travellers coming from the U.S. primarily based on the data that we now have. So we’re monitoring the scenario in the US. We’re very acquainted with the general public well being measures which might be ongoing in the US. Our public well being specialists are in day by day discussions or common discussions with American public well being specialists. So we’re monitoring the scenario carefully with the US. There are exams which might be happening on the border, each land and air, who’re coming from the US. So we’re doing every part we will. And if there are further wants to vary these measures, we are going to achieve this.

Mercedes Stephenson: Do you may have a date on when everybody can be examined coming in?

Omar Alghabra, Transport Minister: We’re virtually there, so I hope that within the coming days we can be at 100 per cent. However we’re virtually at 100 per cent as we converse.

Mercedes Stephenson: Okay. Minister, I’m certain we can be checking again with you once more on these numbers in a couple of weeks. Thanks a lot for becoming a member of us in the present day and completely satisfied holidays.

Omar Alghabra, Transport Minister: Thanks, Mercedes. Merry Christmas. Completely happy Holidays to you and your viewers.

Mercedes Stephenson: Up subsequent, a five-year plan to vary navy tradition and stamp out sexual misconduct. Can the Canadian Forces do it? Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan has been tasked to guide that inner marketing campaign. She joins us subsequent.


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Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan, Canadian Armed Forces: “I used to be completely very touched by the apology itself. I had not forecasted how a lot this is able to be affecting me as a navy member and as a member of this defence staff.”

Mercedes Stephenson: That was the navy’s Chief of Skilled Conduct and Cultural Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan, reflecting on the historic apology delivered final week to survivors of navy sexual misconduct.

Carignan’s place was created final spring to guide cultural reform inside the Canadian Armed Forces in response to the sexual misconduct disaster. The overall says navy members are hungry for change, however that it might take so long as 5 years or perhaps even longer in a marketing campaign to create that change.

Becoming a member of us now could be Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan, right here in-studio. Thanks a lot. It’s good to see you.

Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan, Canadian Armed Forces: Thanks. Thanks for having me.

Mercedes Stephenson: You’ve got a really tough activity forward of you, and you’re one of many highest rating ladies within the Canadian Armed Forces. Clearly, you’ve come up by means of the system, what was your expertise like personally and had been you stunned by this story when it broke?

Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan, Canadian Armed Forces: Nicely I believe when you may have spent most of your grownup life within the navy, you undergo lots of completely different adjustments over time and also you evolve and also you be taught. So in fact, there was a momentum that was in place for a couple of years now that introduced us to the place we’re in the present day. And with the report popping out from Madame Deschamps in 2014 and within the actions taken after that, that allowed us to be taught so much, however we might see that we had not gotten to the guts of the issue. So I believe proper now we now have this chance to conduct lots of adjustments that’s going to take us even additional as an establishment. And I’ve to say, though it’s a giant activity, I’m not alone to do this. We’re mobilized throughout this concern and I really feel that I’m very a lot supported by all of my colleagues who’re main the hassle in lots of different areas inside defence. Of their function, they’re considering tradition. So though I’ve tradition in my title, it’s a defence staff effort and I’m not alone in doing that.

Mercedes Stephenson: You’re a lieutenant-general, that’s a 3 star within the U.S., a 3 leaf right here in Canada. It’s a really highly effective place. It’s the identical rank as the one who instructions the military or the navy or the air pressure. They’ve lots of people working for them. How many individuals do you may have working for you on this transformation in your workplace?

Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan, Canadian Armed Forces: Nicely I misplaced depend, however we’re consolidating at present, lots of the assorted instruments which were working in tradition in several areas inside defence. So I believe we wish to convey all people that works the tradition piece and a few of them have for a couple of years underneath a similar roof in order that we will once more, achieve momentum and mobilize round tradition and make it extra of us.

Mercedes Stephenson: Do you suppose you may have sufficient sources to that? I imply if you happen to’re speaking in regards to the military and the navy, it’s hundreds and hundreds of individuals. I do know your workplace doesn’t have that many, however do you suppose that you simply’re being given adequate sources to realize what’s a really, very giant mandate?

Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan, Canadian Armed Forces: So proper now, we’re rising. And there are two issues about sources. One is sure, useful resource materials and personnel, however there’s additionally a wise option to do enterprise, the place in change with the assorted teams they’ve their very own function in adjusting tradition. And within the function of monitoring, the function of constructing certain that the adjustments are being carried out, ensuring that we’re measuring the progress, that is type of the place we’re, in addition to we’re enabling our different colleagues of their work in altering tradition. So that is type of the world the place we’re. So, sure it’s about sources, however it’s additionally about working neatly.

Mercedes Stephenson: The navy has talked earlier than about change. You and I each keep in mind 2015. Bear in mind again earlier than that when Maclean’s first broke the story. Because the 90s, that is being mentioned. I keep in mind once we had been speaking in regards to the story internally, our nationwide anchor Dawna Friesen stated what number of occasions have we heard this story? What’s completely different this time by way of the Canadian Armed Forces being dedicated to vary? Do you suppose that is really the time you get the tectonic shift?

Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan, Canadian Armed Forces: What’s completely different this time is, this time we’re going on the coronary heart of the problem. So we now have been signs, traditionally. However what we now have discovered up to now six years is that we had not gotten to the guts of the issue. So what issues are we making an attempt to unravel is the important thing piece. What’s the atmosphere that enables all vary of misconduct to happen? What are the elements that permit that to do that? And that is the place we’re going to be intervening on the processes, on the tangible processes that affect tradition. And it’s going to be carried out in fixed consultations with our exterior stakeholders who care about defence and likewise with our inner networks which might be plugged in to the dynamics on the ground and ensuring that we consistently alter to the atmosphere.

Mercedes Stephenson: It sounds good. It feels like lots of buzz phrases, too. So what does it imply in practicality the way you execute this? I imply, one of many issues I do know you’ve talked about is management. This sexual misconduct scandal addressed lots of the management within the Canadian Armed Forces. It’s develop into a giant, huge concern. You’re speaking about choosing leaders in a different way. How does one thing sensible like that play out so you’re choosing the suitable folks to guide the group?

Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan, Canadian Armed Forces: So it’s wanting on the improvement of leaders and the way we develop leaders and what character can we reward? So traditionally, we now have rewarded the identical sort of character. Now we now have to have a look at this in a different way. So revisiting what character we wish to see in leaders and develop the instruments and equip our leaders to develop the character that we’re on the lookout for. So it’s extra empathy. It’s extra human centric. It’s the way to have tough conversations. How can we work by means of tradition and variety, as a result of main a various staff is a problem and it’s completely different than main individuals who all seem like you? So we all know that these instruments do exist. We simply need to make them work collectively to allow our leaders to get there.

Mercedes Stephenson: Does that imply are you doing psychology exams? Do you discuss to their subordinates? I imply, how do you establish what persons are actually like? As a result of I’d think about, if I’m—I don’t know—a captain or a significant and I’m sitting with a lieutenant-general such as you, I’ll current a really completely different picture than I’m presenting once I’m in command.

Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan, Canadian Armed Forces: Completely, and it’s going to be quite a lot of completely different—it’s going to be a multi-faceted, multi-pronged method. So it’s going to be many issues on the similar time. Not solely do we have to have a look at how we choose how we promote, so this can be a systemic course of, however how can we consider can also be a key piece. So the choice behind the leaders is a mixture of it could possibly be 360 exams, it could possibly be psychometric exams. It could possibly be these instruments that would allow us to have a distinct image of our leaders earlier than we select.

Mercedes Stephenson: What would you say to younger women and men who’re interested by becoming a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, however they’re nervous about it after what they’ve seen within the information?

Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan, Canadian Armed Forces: I believe this can be a alternative that they must make for themselves. We’ve a variety of individuals within the navy now that may present suggestions on their very own experiences as properly. However ultimately, it’s at all times a private alternative.

Mercedes Stephenson: Basic Carignan, thanks a lot for becoming a member of us in the present day, and good luck along with your mission forward.

Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan, Canadian Armed Forces: Thanks very a lot.

Mercedes Stephenson: Up subsequent, we’ve obtained two particular editions of The West Block airing over the vacations. We’ll unwrap a preview of what we now have underneath the tree for you.


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Mercedes Stephenson: Welcome again. As many people plan for a while off over the vacations, we needed to share with you our plans for 2 particular editions of The West Block.

Beginning subsequent week, Sunday, December twenty sixth, tune in for a particular full size interview with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. We discuss in regards to the pandemic, relations with China and his dealing with of the navy sexual misconduct disaster.

The prime minister now says he needs he’d carried out extra, earlier.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: “When the very prime ranges of the navy are insisting that there isn’t a drawback, it’s a problem for any authorities to say okay, you’re incorrect. We’re going to do away with all of you. We’re going to herald a wholly new system.”

Mercedes Stephenson: After which for the primary present of 2022, we now have one other particular full-length interview with a really particular visitor on the present. Right here’s a preview:

[Music playing]

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The invention of unmarked graves at a former residential faculty within the B.C. inside led to a country-wide awakening. When the prime minister introduced Canada’s new governor normal final summer season, many noticed it as a big step ahead on the trail to reconciliation: an Indigenous girl because the Queen’s consultant in Canada.

Mary Simon, Governor Basic of Canada: [Inuktitut language spoken].

Mercedes Stephenson: On this particular version of The West Block, we mirror on Canada’s tough previous and the promise of a greater future. One-on-one with Canada’s thirtieth Governor Basic Mary Simon.

We hope you’ll tune in for that very particular version of the present on Sunday, January 2nd.

Earlier than we go in the present day, I wish to take this chance to say an enormous thanks to the small however mighty Ottawa bureau staff who assist put the present collectively every week. The West Block wouldn’t get to air with out their huge brains, arduous work and staff spirit.

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Thanks to the present’s fantastic and gifted present producer, Bernadette Vanneste.

Thanks David Baxter who helps us produce the present every week.

Thanks to our extremely gifted editors: Frank Boldt, Dianna Hagemeyer, and David de la Harpe, and digicam operator Luigi Della Penta.

And to the remainder of the Ottawa bureau who at all times pitch in: Caz, Steve Alexander and Mike Haslett.

This 12 months, investigative producer Marc-André Cossette, nationwide producer Crystal Oag, and on-line reporter Amanda Connolly poured their hearts and souls into the ground-breaking navy sexual misconduct tales that you simply noticed on this present. Thanks.

Thanks to our on-line author Rachel Gilmore, and to our engineers: Tony Peng and Peter Pacconi.

A really particular thanks to Ottawa bureau supervisor, Bryan Mullan, who pulls off miracles each single week.

And naturally, to our visitor hosts: Abigail Bimman and Michael Le Couteur, in addition to chief political correspondent David Akin and our bureau administrator, JL.

An enormous thanks as properly to our management room staff who need to put up with me each week all the best way from Edmonton.

From all of us to all of you, completely satisfied holidays, and we’ll see you in 2022.

© 2021 World Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.

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