Above the law?

Connecting the Dots

Do Manitoba Health orders apply to government officials?

Is it OK for someone with the government to … visit the gym … fly away south (out of Canada) to take care of their winter residence, etc.? We found out on the COVID-19 call for Tuesday that in fact, while gyms, rec centres and fitness centres are closed to regular human beings, those in government were greenlighted to use certain facilities.

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When members of the press questioned Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin about the use of certain fitness centres, he seemed to be telling us that government is exempted from COVID-19 health orders. I could hardly believe my ears.

Then Wednesday, this statement from Dr. Roussin regarding the operation of City of Winnipeg fitness facilities:

“Although public health orders cannot technically apply to the operations of other levels of government, we expect them to follow the spirit and the intent of those orders.

“While it is understandable that firefighters, paramedics and police may need access to such equipment at their workplace to meet the fitness requirements of their duties, a private gym at City Hall or other city facilities for use by elected officials or other city staff does not fall into that description and should not remain open under spirit and intent of Manitoba’s public health orders.”

As for those who travel outside of Canada, are they brave or stupid? You can only get across the border via the air. With COVID also in the air, there’s much more that can go wrong and you could find yourself stuck in a foreign country for longer than planned.

Illness can be challenging when outside of Canada. But with COVID, you could spend an entire 14-day vacation in quarantine. And when you return home, you WILL spend 14 days shut in with yourself – the current law on international travel.

We hope none of our local government councillors or staff are setting a bad example or running the risk of their own illness and quarantine. We hope they are keeping the spirit of the law.


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