Transcript: Liberty vs. Security in a Pandemic | Apr 02, 2020

Steve sits in a room with white walls, a low slanted ceiling and several framed pictures on the walls including one of George Drew and one of Walter Kronkite. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a blue shirt and a spotted blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Liberty versus security in a pandemic."

Steve says ONTARIO MEANS BUSINESS WHEN IT SAYS, "STAY HOME." THOSE WHO DON'T COMPLY WITH THE PARAMETERS SET OUT BY THE GOVERNMENT'S EMERGENCY ORDERS NOW RISK HUGE FINES AND EVEN JAIL TIME. THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN UNTHINKABLE JUST WEEKS AGO. WITH US NOW TO CONSIDER HOW FAR GOVERNMENTS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO INFRINGE ON CIVIL LIBERTIES IN THE NAME OF PUBLIC SAFETY DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK: WE WELCOME, IN THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO: RYAN ALFORD, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AT LAKEHEAD UNIVERSITY'S BORA LASKIN FACULTY OF LAW, AND THE AUTHOR OF THE FORTHCOMING, "SEVEN ABSOLUTE RIGHTS," WHICH WILL BE PUBLISHED NEXT MONTH...

Ryan is in his late forties, with short brown hair and a boxed beard. He's wearing a dark blue suit, white shirt and checked blue tie.
A picture of the book appears briefly on screen. The cover is red, with an image of hands writing on paper.

Steve continues AND, IN THE NATION'S CAPITAL: COLLEEN FLOOD, UNIVERSITY RESEARCH CHAIR AND DIRECTOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA CENTRE FOR HEALTH LAW POLICY AND ETHICS...

Colleen is in her forties, with long blond hair. She's wearing a red blazer and a beige scarf.

Steve continues AND IN THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL: DR. MICHAEL WARNER, HEAD OF THE INTENSIVE CARE UNIT AT THE MICHAEL GARRON HOSPITAL IN TORONTO...

Michael is in his thirties, clean-shaven, with short, receding dark hair. He's wearing a black suit and a checkered shirt.

Steve continues AND WE ARE DELIGHTED TO WELCOME ALL THREE OF YOU TO TVO TONIGHT FOR A DISCUSSION I FRANKLY HAVE NOT HEARD MUCH OF ELSEWHERE, SO I'M GLAD TO HAVE YOU THREE ABOARD SO WE CAN GET INTO IT HERE. MICHAEL, LET ME PUT YOU TO WORK FIRST. HOW ADEQUATE DO YOU THINK THE MEASURES ARE OF DIFFERENT LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT IN PROPORTION TO THE PANDEMIC THAT YOU ARE DEALING WITH ON THE FRONT LINES?

The caption changes to "Michael Warner. Michael Garron Hospital. ICU Doctor."

Michael says SO I'M ENCOURAGED BY THE STEPS THAT HAVE BEEN TAKEN RECENTLY, BUT I THINK THAT MORE SIGNIFICANT STEPS SHOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN WEEKS AGO. WE ON THE FRONT LINE SAW THIS COMING, AND PHYSICAL DISTANCING, WHICH IS THE TERM THAT'S BEING USED TODAY, IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE TOOL THE PUBLIC HAS TO MITIGATE THE RISK TO THEMSELVES AND ALSO TO THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM OF POTENTIAL COLLAPSE. SO I'M ENCOURAGED BY WHAT'S BEEN GOING ON IN GOVERNMENT LATELY BUT THE MEASURES NEED TO BE CONSISTENT ACROSS ALL JURISDICTIONS AND LIKELY MORE STRINGENT. I'M NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT ENFORCEMENT. THAT'S NOT MY END OF THINGS. BUT I THINK THAT MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE STILL.

Steve says MORE STRINGENT EQUALS WHAT?

Michael says WE CAN'T HAVE ANY WIGGLE ROOM. THERE CAN'T BE ROOM FOR INTERPRETATION. THERE CAN'T BE DIFFERENT RULES ACROSS DIFFERENT JURISDICTIONS IN CANADA. A GROUP OF LESS THAN 50 WAS TOO MANY. NOW IT'S FIVE. THE RIGHT NUMBER IS ONE. AND I THINK PEOPLE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT CLEARLY FROM POLICYMAKERS. OBVIOUSLY WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT SOCIETY CONTINUES AND THAT ESSENTIAL SERVICES ARE PROVIDED. BUT WE CAN'T LEAVE ANY ROOM FOR INTERPRETATION AMONG THE PUBLIC.

Steve says IF THE RIGHT NUMBER IS ONE, LET ME JUST MAKE SURE EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS WHAT YOU'RE SAYING. SO IF YOU AND A KID OR IF YOU AND A PARTNER WANT TO GO OUT FOR A WALK, YOU'VE GOT TO BE 6 FEET APART. NO MORE OF THIS WALKING HAND-IN-HAND DOWN THE STREET; IS THAT WHAT YOU'RE SAYING?

Michael says THAT'S NOT WHAT I'M SAYING. JUST TO BE CLEAR. IF YOU LIVE IN THE SAME HOUSE AND YOU'VE BEEN FOLLOWING THE RULES, ASSUMING NO ONE IS SICK IN YOUR HOUSE, THEN AS LONG AS YOU STAY WITHIN THAT GROUP OF 5 PEOPLE... I HAVE 5 PEOPLE IN MY FAMILY... THEN YOU CAN STAY CLOSER THAN 6 FEET WITHIN THAT GROUP. BUT YOU CAN'T CO-MINGLE WITH OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE ALSO FOLLOWING THE SAME RULES. THAT IS ONE EXAMPLE WHERE PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR A GRAY AREA. YOU KNOW, IF I SELF-ISOLATE AND MY FRIENDS SELF-ISOLATE WITH MY KIDS, THEN CAN'T WE JUST GET TOGETHER? AND THAT'S NOT THE RIGHT WAY TO INTERPRET THE RULES. YOU CAN STAY WITHIN YOUR HOUSEHOLDS BUT YOU CAN'T GO BEYOND THAT TO CO-MINGLE WITH OTHER PEOPLE.

Steve says THANK YOU FOR CLARIFYING THAT. COLLEEN, YOUR PRESENCE IN THIS DISCUSSION IT'S UNBELIEVABLY TIMELY BECAUSE YOU TEACH A COURSE CALLED "LAW OF MODERN DAY PLAGUES," WHICH SEEMS EERILY RIGHT NOW. HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO THE PANDEMICS YOU'RE TEACHING YOUR STUDENTS ABOUT?

The caption changes to "Colleen Flood. University of Ottawa."

Colleen says I'M GOING TO BE POPULAR NEXT YEAR. IN THE COURSE WE START OUT WITH ACTUALLY LOOKING AT THE PLAGUE ITSELF AND THEN COMING FORWARD INTO TIME AND TO THE SPANISH FLU AND MORE RECENT TIMES WITH SARS AND H1N1, EBOLA, H.I.V. AND A.I.D.S. SO I THINK FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF MORE MODERN-DAY ANALYSIS, THIS IS CERTAINLY AN UNPRECEDENT UNPRECEDENTED MOMENT AND UNPRECEDENTED CONTAGION, PARTICULARLY GIVEN HOW QUICKLY IT SPREADS. AND I THINK THAT A BUNCH OF THINGS COME INTO PLAY HERE. AT THE TIME OF THE PLAGUE, IT TOOK BASICALLY YEARS FOR IT TO MOVE AROUND THE WORLD BECAUSE OF THE WAY THAT WE TRAVELLED AT THAT TIME. NOW, TODAY, YOU KNOW, SOMEONE HOPS ON A PLANE FROM WUHAN OR WHATEVER, ITALY, AND IT CAN BE QUICKLY IN CANADA AND SPREAD VERY FAST.

Steve says JUST TO PUT THIS IN PERSPECTIVE, THOUGH, TO PUT IT IN PERSPECTIVE, I MEAN, WE'VE ALL LEARNED ABOUT THE SPANISH PLAGUE 100 YEARS AGO WHERE 50 MILLION TO 100 MILLION WERE KILLED. WE'RE CLEARLY NOT THERE. BUT IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE THAT YOU TEACH THAT THIS MOST CLEARLY... OR MOST CLOSELY RESEMBLES?

Colleen says NO, I DON'T THINK SO. BUT OF COURSE THE WHOLE IDEA OF WHAT EVERY JURISDICTION IS TRYING TO DO IS TO PREVENT IT BECOMING SOMETHING OF THE ENORMITY OF THE SPANISH FLU. AND GIVEN THE VIRULENCY AS I UNDERSTAND IT OF COVID-19, THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR MILLIONS TO DIE AROUND THE WORLD. WE DON'T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN. WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO TAKE VARIOUS MEASURES. AT THE HEART OF THE COURSE THAT I TEACH IS THIS DISCUSSION OF, HOW DO WE BALANCE WHAT WE PERCEIVE TO BE IN THE PUBLIC GOOD, WHAT WE THINK WILL ACHIEVE A PUBLIC HEALTH OUTCOME, WITH CIVIL LIBERTIES AND INDIVIDUAL FREEDOMS? AND THE TOUGH THING IS WE MAY NOT ALWAYS KNOW AT THE BEGINNING OF A PANDEMIC OR EVEN AS IT UNFOLDS WHAT EXACTLY IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO, AND IF A GOVERNMENT IS TOO AGGRESSIVE AND, YOU KNOW, HINDSIGHT SUGGESTS THEY TOOK TOO MANY MEASURES AND INFRINGE ON CIVIL LIBERTIES TO A GREATER DEGREE, THEN YOU'RE IN TROUBLE. AND IF THEY DON'T GO FAR ENOUGH AND THE CONTAGION SPREADS BECAUSE THEY WEREN'T AGGRESSIVE ENOUGH, THEN OF COURSE THEY'RE IN TROUBLE AGAIN. SO IT'S A PRETTY DIFFICULT PLACE TO BE IN, PARTICULARLY AS THE EVIDENCE IS CHANGING, IT SEEMS, ALMOST DAY BY DAY, OF WHAT EXACTLY IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

Steve says RIGHT. IN WHICH CASE, RYAN, LET ME GET YOU INTO THE CONVERSATION HERE AND ASK YOU, FROM A CIVIL LIBERTIES PERSPECTIVE, HOW DIFFERENT IS LIFE TODAY FOR THE AVERAGE CITIZEN IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO BECAUSE OF THE EMERGENCY MEASURES THAT HAVE BEEN INTRODUCED BY PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS AND OUR VARIOUS LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT?

The caption changes to "Ryan Alford. Lakehead University."

Ryan says OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS ARE ALWAYS SUBJECT TO LIMITATION. THAT'S INTEGRAL TO THE CHARTER. THEY MAY NOT CONSTITUTE THREATS TO LIBERTY. WHAT CONSTITUTES A CLEAR THREAT TO LIBERTY IS BEING GOVERNED BY A SECRET LAW OR POLICE ENFORCING WHAT ARE GUIDELINES RATHER THAN LAWS. WHAT PEOPLE NEED RIGHT NOW, WHAT THE CITIZENS OF ONTARIO NEED, IS CLARITY. THEY NEED TO KNOW THAT, WHEN THIS COMES INTO AN ORDER IN COUNCIL ISSUED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND CIVIL PROTECTION ACT, THAT IS THE LAW THAT GOVERNS THEIR CONDUCT. THEY CAN RELY UPON THE POLICE TO ONLY ENFORCE THAT, RATHER THAN SOME SORT OF RECOMMENDATION. BECAUSE RIGHT NOW, WHAT'S PROHIBITING PUBLIC BUY-IN, WHAT'S PREVENTING THE PUBLIC FROM REALLY SAYING, YES, WE BELIEVE IN THIS, WE WANT TO COMPLY WITH THESE RESTRICTIONS, IS THEY'RE NOT BEING CONVINCED BUT THEY'RE BEING TOLD. AND WHAT THEY'RE BEING TOLD IS OFTEN INCONSISTENT. SO WHAT WE NEED IS CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS ABOUT WHAT THE LAW IS WITH RESPECT TO SOCIAL ISOLATION OR PHYSICAL DISTANCING, AND I WOULD ARGUE THAT IN FACT THOSE BUZZWORDS OR JARGON ARE UNHELPFUL. WE NEED TO HAVE CLEAR, PLAIN LANGUAGE COMMUNICATION OF WHAT THE LAW REQUIRES, UNDERSTANDABLE BY SOMEONE, FOR INSTANCE, WHO IS 21 YEARS OLD AND HAS A GRADE 10 EDUCATION. AND I THINK THAT WE'VE BEEN DOING A REALLY BAD JOB WITH RESPECT TO THAT AND I THINK FROM A CIVIL LIBERTIES PERSPECTIVE, IF WE THINK THAT COERCIVE MEASURES ARE GOING TO WORK HERE, YOU'RE SADLY MISTAKEN. BECAUSE THEY RELY IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS UPON INCARCERATION. AND JAILING PEOPLE FOR VIOLATING THESE ORDERS IS COMPLETELY COUNTERPRODUCTIVE TO CONTROLLING THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS.

Steve says LET ME JUST FOLLOW UP ON ONE THING YOU SAID THERE. WHAT COULD BE MORE PLAIN-SPOKEN THAN, DON'T LEAVE YOUR HOUSE UNLESS YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO UNLESS SHOPPING OR GETTING A PRESCRIPTION, PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING, BE 6 FEET APART FROM THE NEXT PERSON. IS THAT NOT CLEAR ENOUGH?

Ryan says IT MAY BE CLEAR BUT IT'S NOT THE LAW. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT WHAT THE LAW SHOULD BE OR WHAT IT IS. WHAT WE HAVE UNDER THE EMERGENCY ORDERS IS THERE ARE NO PUBLIC GATHERINGS OF MORE THAN FIVE. PUBLIC GATHERINGS MUST BE FIVE OR FEWER. THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE UNDER THE EMERGENCY ORDER. AND IF THE PREMIER BELIEVES IT IS NECESSARY, AND HE RECEIVED ADVICE THAT FURTHER RESTRICTIONS ARE NECESSARY, THOSE NEED TO GO INTO ORDERS IN COUNCIL. THOSE ORDERS IN COUNCIL NEED TO BE PUBLICIZED. AND THEN THOSE ORDERS IN COUNCIL NEED TO BE COMMUNICATED TO THE PUBLIC IN THE STRAIGHTFORWARD MANNER THAT YOU JUST DESCRIBED.

Steve says HMM. IN WHICH CASE, MICHAEL, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO PEOPLE WHO ARE CONCERNED AT THE MOMENT THAT THEIR CIVIL RIGHTS ARE BEING TOO MUCH INFRINGED UPON BY GOVERNMENTS WHO ARE MAKING THESE ADMONITIONS ABOUT OUR PERSONAL CONDUCT AND HOW WE OUGHT TO BEHAVE THESE DAYS?

Michael says SO I GUESS FIRST OF ALL I'D SAY TO THOSE PEOPLE, I UNDERSTAND BECAUSE I AGREE WITH RYAN WITH THE SUGGESTIONS AND NOW THE INSTRUCTIONS BY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS HAVE NOT BEEN CLEAR. I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT SOCIAL DISTANCING MEANS AND I DO THIS FOR A LIVING AS AN ICU DOCTOR. WE NEED TO BE CLEAR. WE NEED TO BE CONSISTENT. SO THAT THE AVERAGE PERSON CAN UNDERSTAND WHAT THE EXPECTATIONS ARE. FOR THOSE PEOPLE WHO THINK THEIR RIGHTS ARE BEING INFRINGED UPON, I'LL JUST GIVE YOU SOME CONTEXT INTO THE THINGS THAT I'M THINKING ABOUT TWO WEEKS AGO. TWO WEEKS AGO IN ONTARIO WE WERE THINKING ABOUT WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WHEN WE RUN OUT OF VENTILATORS, WE RUN OUT OF DOCTORS AND WE RUN OUT OF BEDS AND WE RUN OUT OF NURSES. THAT'S WHAT WE WERE THINKING ABOUT TWO WEEKS AGO. TWO WEEKS FROM NOW, WE MAY BE IN THAT SITUATION. SO MY PERSPECTIVE, FOCUSING EXCLUSIVELY ON THE HEALTH OF ONTARIANS, WE NEED TO SET THOSE THINGS ASIDE FOR NOW AND FOCUS ON THE GREATER GOOD, WHICH IS MAKING SURE AS FEW PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE DIE.

Steve says NOW, THAT'S SOME PRETTY STARK LANGUAGE. HAVE OUR POLITICIANS BEEN SPEAKING THAT PLAINLY LATELY, DO YOU BELIEVE?

Michael says I CAN ONLY SAY WHAT I'VE BEEN SPEAKING TO AND I SPEAK VERY CLEARLY AND DEFINITIVELY. I THINK WE'VE BEEN CHASING THIS THE WHOLE TIME. WE NEED TO GET AHEAD OF IT. THIS BIOLOGIC PROBLEM DOES NOT... WITH NEWS CYCLES, IT'S ALWAYS OUT THERE, IT'S ALWAYS GROWING, IT'S IN OUR COMMUNITY AND IT'S SPREADING. AND WE WILL GET TO THE POINT WHERE DECISIONS NEED TO BE MADE THAT SEEM OBVIOUS AT THE TIME, BUT TWO WEEKS AGO THEY MAY HAVE SEEN DRACONIAN. BUT WE NEED TO MAKE DECISIONS IN ANTICIPATION OF WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN AND I THINK THIS IS THE TIME TO OVERREACT. I DON'T THINK ANY POLITICIAN IS GOING TO GET IT ON THE NOSE A YEAR FROM NOW THAT THEY DID EVERYTHING THEY COULD TO KEEP THEM SAFE. IF THEY OVERCALL IT, YOU CAN BLAME ME. BUT WE NEED TO BE PROACTIVE.

Steve says COLLEEN, THAT DOES RAISE SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT HAS TAKEN PLACE HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD. I'D LIKE TO BRING YOU IN ON THAT RIGHT NOW. BECAUSE I'LL LEAVE CHINA OUT OF THE EQUATION FOR A MOMENT. BUT PLACES LIKE SOUTH KOREA, FOR EXAMPLE, OR TAIWAN, HAVE APPARENTLY HAD A GREAT DEAL MORE SUCCESS THAN MANY WESTERN DEMOCRACIES IN GETTING A HANDLE ON THIS THING AND THEY'VE DONE IT WITH SOMETHING CALLED "CONTACT TRACING." WHAT IS THAT AND HOW IS IT ABLE TO HAVE BEEN HELPFUL?

Colleen says WELL, AS I UNDERSTAND IT, THEY MORE QUICKLY ACTUALLY CLOSED THEIR ORDERS TO PEOPLE COMING... BOARDS TO PEOPLE COMING FROM CHINA AND WUHAN AND THEN IN THE LIGHT OF THAT WERE ABLE TO ROLL OUT MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF TESTING, SO SOME 10,000 A DAY, AS I UNDERSTAND IT, IN SOUTH KOREA. AND THEN ON THE BASIS OF THAT AND TRACKING CELL PHONE DATA, FIGURE OUT IF PEOPLE HAD TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, WHERE IN FACT THEY HAD BEEN IN RECENT... YOU KNOW, IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS, WHETHER THEY HAD BEEN IN A PARTICULAR GROCERY STORE OR A PARK OR WHERE THEY HAD BEEN, AND THEN CORRELATING THAT WITH OTHER FOLKS' CELL PHONE DATA TO ALERT THEM THAT PEOPLE HAD BEEN IN THE VICINITY OF THE NOW INFECTED PERSON ABOUT THE NEED TO GO AND TEST AND SO THEY'D SEND THEM A MESSAGE IN A SECURE PLATFORM: YOU NEED TO GO AND TEST. LIVES ARE AT RISK, ET CETERA. SO IT SEEMS TO HAVE HELPED, AS THEY SAY, FLATTEN THE CURVE, AND THAT IS A POSSIBILITY HERE AS WELL. IT IS POSSIBLE, I THINK, AS WAS MENTIONED, AS RYAN MENTIONED, YOU KNOW, RIGHTS, PRIVACY RIGHTS, FOR EXAMPLE, ARE NOT ABSOLUTE. EVERYTHING NEEDS TO BE BALANCED, AND IF THERE IS, YOU KNOW, A CLEAR VIEW FROM PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS THAT THIS IS THE KIND OF THING THAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN IN CANADA TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19, THEN IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE TO DO, YOU KNOW, BUT IT IS A COMPLICATED BUSINESS, I THINK, BECAUSE SOMETIMES WHAT SEEMS, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUS PERHAPS TO PUBLIC HEALTH FOLKS INITIALLY, WHEN YOU THINK IT THROUGH MAY HAVE ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES. SO, FOR EXAMPLE, PEOPLE MIGHT AVOID BEING TESTED IN THE FIRST PLACE BECAUSE OF THE IMPACT ON THEIR CIVIL LIBERTIES DOWN THE ROAD. SO IF THEY KNOW THAT THEIR PRIVATE LIVES ARE GOING TO BE TURNED UPSIDE DOWN OR THAT THEY MAY BE INCARCERATED UNDER FAIRLY DRACONIAN MEASURES, THEY MIGHT AVOID TESTING IN THE FIRST PLACE. SO, YOU KNOW, ONE CAN'T JUST, I GUESS, PASS A LAW OR AN EDICT AND EXPECT, YOU KNOW, EVERYONE TO JUMP IN AND OBEY PERHAPS AS PUBLIC HEALTH FOLKS MIGHT LIKE OR MEDICAL FOLKS MIGHT LIKE. YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT WHAT WORKS AND WHAT DOESN'T WORK FROM A PUBLIC HEALTH PERSPECTIVE.

Steve says IT SEEMS TO BE WORKING IN ASIA. MICHAEL, LET ME ASK YOU WHETHER YOU THINK THIS IS SOMETHING WE OUGHT TO BE DOING HERE.

Michael says WE SHOULD BE TESTING EVERYBODY WE CAN, ASSUMING WE HAVE THE RAW MATERIALS TO DO IT. WE NEED A TURN-AROUND TIME ON TESTING THAT'S IMMEDIATE. AND ONCE WE IDENTIFY PEOPLE WITH COVID-19, WE NEED TO ISOLATE THEM FROM SOCIETY AND AGGRESSIVELY CONTACT-TRACE THEM, LIKE COLLEEN DESCRIBED, IN SOUTH KOREA. WITHOUT TESTING AND WITHOUT AN ADEQUATE PUBLIC HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE TO FOLLOW UP ON PATIENTS AND THEIR CONTACTS, WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO SLOW DOWN THE SPREAD OF THIS. WHILE I UNDERSTAND THAT PEOPLE MIGHT BE MARGINALIZED IF THEY TEST POSITIVE, I THINK BECAUSE THIS IS SUCH AN INFECTIOUS, INFECTIOUS DISEASE, IF YOU HAD IT, I THINK YOU'D WANT TO KNOW SO YOU CAN PROTECT YOUR FAMILY FROM IT, ASSUMING THAT YOU'RE ISOLATING WITH THEM. SO I THINK TESTING IS ACTUALLY THE KEY TO ALL THIS. THAT'S A SEPARATE TOPIC. BUT SOUTH KOREA HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE THEY TESTED SO MANY PEOPLE. THEY HAVE DIFFERENT GEOGRAPHY THAN WE DO. AND THEY WERE ABLE TO CONTACT-TRACE EFFECTIVELY AND THEY FLATTENED THE CURVE BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE. ITALY IS VERY DIFFERENT. AND ITALY IS THE SITUATION THAT WE'RE TRYING TO AVOID. NEW YORK IS THE SITUATION WE'RE TRYING TO AVOID. BUT THOSE SITUATIONS ARE FORESEEABLE IN THIS COUNTRY WITHOUT SOME SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN OUR BEHAVIOUR.

Steve says OKAY. BUT, RYAN, YOU KNOW, WE JUST HEARD COLLEEN POSIT THE NOTION THAT IT'S ALL WELL AND GOOD TO GET TESTED AND IT OBVIOUSLY WOULD BE AS HELPFUL AS POSSIBLE FOR AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE TO GET TESTED, BUT SHE DID INTRODUCE THIS NOTION OF SOMEWHERE DOWN THE ROAD THERE COULD BE ISSUES AROUND THOSE WHO TEST POSITIVE AND THOSE COULD BE PROBLEMATIC FROM A CIVIL RIGHTS POINT OF VIEW. WHAT CONCERNS DO YOU HAVE AROUND THAT?

Ryan says OH, WITH RESPECT TO CONTACT TRACING, IF WE AMEND FEDERAL PRIVACY LEGISLATION TO MAKE THAT POSSIBLE, I THINK THERE WOULD BE MORE BUY-IN IF PEOPLE WERE CONVINCED THAT THIS WAS A TEMPORARY MEASURE TO ADDRESS THIS PARTICULAR CRISIS. CIVIL LIBERTARIANS WOULD LIKELY SUPPORT THESE MEASURES IF IT THEY HAD SUNSET CLAUSES AND IF THERE WERE GUARANTEES THAT THIS THEN WOULDN'T MORPH FOR USE FOR SOME OTHER PURPOSE. SO THE CAUTIONARY EXAMPLE, OF COURSE, IS THE PATRIOT ACT IN THE UNITED STATES, THE MASS SURVEILLANCE THAT CAME IN UNDER THOSE MEASURES RIGHT AFTER 9-11, THEY WERE BEING USED FOR EVERY PURPOSE UNDER THE SUN AFTER THAT. GIVEN THAT COERCION ISN'T GOING TO WORK VERY EFFECTIVELY IN THIS CRISIS, IF PEOPLE KNOW WE CAN'T PUT THEM IN JAIL OR IT WOULD BE COUNTERPRODUCTIVE TO DO SO, HOW DO WE GET THE BUY-IN IF WE SAY IT IS FOR THIS PURPOSE AND THIS PURPOSE ONLY, AND THERE'S A CLEAR SUNSET CLAUSE ON IT THAT SAYS WHEN THIS EXPIRES, IT'S DONE WITHOUT ANY POSSIBILITY OF RENEWAL.

Steve says WOULD YOU SAY IT'S A LOT MORE DIFFICULT BEING A DEMOCRACY AT A TIME LIKE THIS THAN BEING A TOTALITARIAN STATE, FOR EXAMPLE LIKE CHINA, TO GET A HANDLE ON THINGS. YOU KNOW, THEY SEND IN THE ARMY, THEY QUARANTINE PEOPLE OFF, THEY TAKE AWAY EVERYBODY'S CIVIL RIGHTS. BUT IF THEIR NUMBERS ARE TO E BELIEVED, THEY'VE FLATTENED THE CURVE IN A RELATIVELY SHORT SPACE OF TIME. WHAT'S YOUR VIEW ON THAT?

Ryan says I DON'T THINK SO. TIME IS GOING TO DEMONSTRATE THE FALSITY OF THAT NOTION. IN CHINA RIGHT NOW, PEOPLE ARE RESPONDING TO COERCION BECAUSE IT'S THE EXTREME. AFTER THAT CAN THEY BE TRUSTED TO COMPLY IF THE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T HAVE THAT CAPACITY. IF A SITUATION EMERGED IN CHINA WHERE THERE WAS SUDDENLY NOT ENOUGH POLICE BECAUSE OF THE WAY THE VIRUS WAS AFFECTING THE POPULATION OR THE ARMY WAS INFECTED AND COULD NO LONGER OPERATE RELIABLY, WOULD YOU HAVE THE KIND OF GOODWILL THAT COMES FROM PEOPLE CONVINCED, BECAUSE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS, THAT WHAT'S BEING DONE IS RATIONAL, JUSTIFIABLE, AND IN FACT THE CORRECT DECISION BECAUSE IT WAS MADE PUBLICLY AND WITH THE CORRECT INPUT FROM STAKEHOLDERS. I THINK THAT'S WHAT MAKES DEMOCRACIES MORE ROBUST. IF YOU TAKE A LOOK AT EXAMPLES FROM HISTORY LIKE THE BLITZ, YOU SEE TOTALITARIAN COUNTRIES DIDN'T HAVE THAT CAPACITY THAT COMES FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE CLEAR FAITH IN THEIR DEMOCRATIC ORDER AND THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER.

Steve says INTERESTING. MICHAEL, TELL US THIS. THERE'S BEEN A GREAT DEAL OF DEBATE LATELY ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT PEOPLE, IF AND WHEN THEY HAVE TO GO OUTSIDE, OUGHT TO WEAR MASKS. COULD I GET YOU TO WEIGH IN ON THAT AND GIVE US YOUR ADVICE?

Michael says I FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, AND AS I UNDERSTAND, BASED ON TODAY, RIGHT NOW, YOU ONLY NEED TO WEAR A MASK IF YOU'RE SICK, AND THAT'S THE ADVICE THAT I WOULD FOLLOW FOR MYSELF, UNLESS, OF COURSE, I WAS IN THE HOSPITAL WHERE I AM ASKED TO PROTECT PATIENTS FROM ME, BECAUSE I CAN PASS COVID-19 TO THEM EVEN IF I'M ASYMPTOMATIC. THE RISK OF USING MASKS IS WE HAVE A CRISIS WITH PPE SUPPLIES, PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT. IF SOMEONE BUYS A MASK THAT'S ONE MORE MASK WE WON'T HAVE IN THE HOSPITAL TO TREAT PATIENTS. WE HAVE TO BE CLEAR WITH THE MESSAGING AND ALSO FOLLOW THE BEST SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE.

Steve says WHAT IF YOU DID YOUR OWN MAKESHIFT THING, WE'RE SEEING THIS ALL OVER THE INTERNET, WHERE PEOPLE TAKE T-SHIRTS OR COTTON CLOTH AND WRAP THEIR FACE AROUND IT. ANY POINT IN DOING THAT?

Michael says I THINK THE RISK IS SOMETIMES PEOPLE CAN USE A MASK AS AN EXCUSE NOT TO COMPLY WITH PHYSICAL DISTANCING MEASURES OR YOU CAN ONLY LEAVE YOUR HOUSE UNLESS YOU'RE DOING ESSENTIAL SHOPPING. WHEN PEOPLE WEAR A MASK, THEY'RE NOT USED TO WEAR A MASK, AND WHAT I SEE ON TELEVISION, PEOPLE CONSTANTLY TOUCH THEIR FACE AND MASK TO READJUST IT. YOU GET THEM DOCTOR DROPLETS AND TOUCH YOUR FACE OR NOSE. IT CAN BE A RISK TO PEOPLE UNKNOWINGLY TO THEM.

Steve says GOTCHA. RYAN, CAN I GO TO YOU ON THIS? WE HAVE SEEN ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT, FEDERAL, PROVINCIAL, AND MUNICIPAL, ROLL OUT OVER THE LAST WEEK OR SO OR COUPLE OF WEEKS VARIOUS POWERS THAT THEY ALL HAVE TO ENFORCE BEHAVIOURS THAT THEY BELIEVE WILL FLATTEN THE CURVE AND GET US TO THE END OF THIS THING SOONER THAN LATER. CAN YOU COMPARE, I GUESS, THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF POWERS THAT THE VARIOUS LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT HAVE AS IT RELATES TO, FOR EXAMPLE, SHELTERING IN PLACE ORDERS? WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THAT?

Ryan says SO PRIMARILY THE POWERS TO DO THAT ARE INVESTED IN THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS. THAT'S A FUNCTION OF THE DIVISION OF POWER IN THE CONSTITUTION, WHAT USED TO BE CALLED THE BNA ACT. WITH RESPECT TO POWERS IN PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY, IF WE DECLARE IT UNDER THE EMERGENCIES ACT, AND I'D LIKE TO RETURN TO THAT LATER, THE POWERS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WOULD BE NARROWER THAN THAT OF THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT. UNDER THE EMERGENCY MEASURES AND CIVIL PROTECTION ACT IN ONTARIO THERE'S WHAT YOU CALL A BASKET CLAUSE OR REST DOO YOU WILL CLAUSE THAT ALLOWS THE PREMIER TO DO WHAT IS EFFECTIVELY NECESSARY, WHEREAS THE POWERS OF THE FEDERAL CABINET UNDER THE EMERGENCIES ACT ARE LIMITED TO WHAT IS ENUMERATED IN THAT SECTION OF THE EMERGENCIES ACT. AND SPECIFICALLY IT SAYS THAT WE CAN'T JUST ASSUME POWER OVER WHAT THE PROVINCE DOES. THAT'S IN SECTION 8(3) OF THE EMERGENCIES ACT. WHEN'S LOOKING AT WHAT THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS ARE DOING AND WHY IT'S MORE RESTRICTIVE, IT'S BECAUSE THEY HAVE MORE POWER. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS POWER AT THE MOMENT OVER PEOPLE WHO HAVE CROSSED THE FEDERAL BORDER UNDER THE QUARANTINE ACT.

Steve says WE WILL COME BACK TO THE EMERGENCY ACT LATER BECAUSE I DO WANT TO GET INTO SOME OF THAT. LET ME READ A COUPLE OF THINGS OUT AND, COLLEEN, I'LL GET YOU TO WEIGH IN ON THESE FIRST. RONA AMBROSE WAS THE INTERIM NATIONAL LEADER OF THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY AND SHE HAD THIS TO SAY TO JUSTIN TRUDEAU ABOUT 12 DAYS AGO ON TWITTER...

A tweet by Rona Ambrose appears on screen. It reads "1/2) PM @JustinTrudeau: Canadians are ready for you to lead us further through this crisis. It's time to declare a state of emergency in Canada and tell us to shelter in place, except for essential workers. We are ready to do our part to save others.
2/2) We will not view it as an assault on our civil liberties, we will see it as assault on COVID-19. We need one message for all of Canada."

Steve says AND THEN LET ME JUST ADD ONE OTHER COMMENT AND THIS CAME FROM GOLDIE HYDER, THE PRESIDENT OF THE BUSINESS COUNCIL OF CANADA, WHO WROTE TO THE PRIME MINISTER ON BEHALF OF BUSINESSES ACROSS THE COUNTRY ASKING BOTH FEDERAL AND PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS TO QUOTE, ACT AGRESSIVELY, TO KEEP CANADIANS INSIDE THEIR HOMES AND HE SAID, BEGINNING IMMEDIATELY, ALL CANADIANS SHOULD BE TOLD... NOT ASKED OR ADVISED... BUT TOLD TOLD TO STAY HOME UNLESS THEIR JOBS ARE ESSENTIAL OR THEY MUST MUST LEAVE THE HOME TO PURCHASE FOOD OR OTHER NECESSITIES. OKAY, TWO DIFFERENT APPROACHES THERE FROM APPARENTLY THE APPROACH BEING FOLLOWED RIGHT NOW. COLLEEN, WHAT'S YOUR VIEW ON THAT?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Colleen says WELL, THE FIRST QUESTION IS AROUND WHETHER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN AND SHOULD TRIGGER THE EMERGENCIES ACT AND I THINK THE ISSUE... I WOULD AGREE THAT WE ARE IN A STATE OF EMERGENCY. EVERY PROVINCE HAS DECLARED IT AS SUCH. BUT AS RYAN WAS MENTIONING, THE ABILITY OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO TRIGGER THE EMERGENCIES ACT IS ACTUALLY QUITE LIMITED IN THAT IT MUST BE... THEY MUST VIEW WHAT'S HAPPENING IN A PARTICULAR PROVINCE TO REALLY BE A RISK TO OTHER PROVINCES OR THE WHOLE OF CANADA. SO TO BE OF THE BELIEF THAT A PARTICULAR HEALTH MEASURE IS BEING TAKEN IN ONE PROVINCE ARE INADEQUATE AND IT'S A RISK TO OTHERS. SO THAT IS NOT THAT STRAIGHTFORWARD THEN TO BE ABLE TO SAY, WELL, THERE IS AN EMERGENCY FROM COAST TO COAST AND WE WANT TO HAVE, YOU KNOW, ONE RULE FOR ALL, ONE
[indiscernible] TO RULE THEM ALL KIND OF THING UNDER THE EMERGENCIES ACT. NOW, IT MAY BE IN THE LIGHT OF COVID-19, WHEN THEY DO A POST MORTEM OF THIS, WE MIGHT FEEL THAT OUR EMERGENCIES ACT AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL ISN'T ACTUALLY SET FOR PURPOSE BECAUSE THEY CAN'T BE TRIGGERED IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, ONE WOULD WONDER WHETHER IT CAN EVER BE TRIGGERED WHEN IT IS ACTUALLY BEING USED...

Steve says FORGIVE ME. LET ME GET RYAN TO WEIGH IN HERE ON WHAT POWERS THE EMERGENCY ACT PROVIDES FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THAT THEY ARE CURRENTLY NOT USING?

Ryan says VERY LITTLE BECAUSE WHAT WE HAVE TO REMEMBER IS THE EMERGENCIES ACT DOESN'T GIVE MORE POWER TO PARLIAMENT. THE EMERGENCIES ACT IS A REPLACEMENT FOR THE WAR MEASURES ACT. SO WHAT THE WAR MEASURES ACT ALLOWED GOVERNMENT TO DO WAS TO ASSUME POWER FROM PARLIAMENT. IT ALLOWS THE FEDERAL CABINET TO ISSUE ORDERS UNDER FORCE OF LAW WITH VERY LIMITED PARLIAMENTARY OVERSIGHT. AND THAT'S WHEN DECISION-MAKING GETS BAD. YOU CAN SAY THAT IT'S BECAUSE OF THAT LACK OF OVERSIGHT THAT WE HAD SUCH TERRIBLE DECISIONS AS THE DECISION TO BRING IN THE MILITARY INTO QUEBEC IN 1970, WHICH WAS COMPLETELY INEFFECTIVE. THE TERRORISTS WHO KIDNAPPED AND MURDERED THOSE TWO OFFICIALS WERE CAUGHT BY ORDINARY POLICE WORK. THEY WERE NOT CAUGHT BY THE ARMY. AND LIKEWISE, THE INTERNMENT OF JAPANESE CANADIANS WHICH WENT ON FOR SEVEN YEARS BETWEEN 1942 AND 1949 WAS A RESULT OF THE WAR MEASURES ACT. HAD THAT BEEN DEBATED IN PARLIAMENT, WE WOULD HAVE SAID THAT'S A TERRIBLE DECISION BECAUSE THE CANADIAN ARMY WOULD HAVE SAID, AS THEY SAID AT THAT TIME, IT DOES NOTHING TO PROMOTE THE SAFETY OF CANADIANS. SO WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE EMERGENCIES ACT, WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT EXPANDING THE POWERS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RELATIVE TO THE PROVINCES, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT SHIFTING DECISION-MAKING AUTHORITY FROM PARLIAMENT TO THE CABINET, AND THAT IS PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS. I REALLY WISH THAT MOST CANADIANS UNDERSTOOD THAT IT DOESN'T GIVE MORE POWER TO THE FEDERAL AUTHORITIES. IT MERELY TRANSFERS THE DECISION-MAKING AUTHORITY FROM THE PARLIAMENT TO THE CABINET, WITH LESS OVERSIGHT FROM PARLIAMENT AND POTENTIALLY LESS OVERNIGHT FROM THE COURTS.

Steve says IN WHICH CASE, MICHAEL, FROM A CONTAINMENT POINT OF VIEW, DOES IT MATTER TO YOU WHETHER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BRINGS IN THIS ACT?

Michael says THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK OBVIOUSLY IS NOT MY AREA OF EXPERTISE. I ACTUALLY DON'T CARE. WE NEED THE MOST SIGNIFICANT, AGGRESSIVE, PROACTIVE MEASURES POSSIBLE, YOU KNOW, IN ANYONE'S RECOLLECTION, TO GET AHEAD OF THIS. WITHOUT THAT, PEOPLE WILL DIE. THOUSANDS MORE PEOPLE WILL DIE UNLESS WE ARE MANDATED TO STAY AWAY FROM EACH OTHER. IT'S VERY SIMPLE. I DON'T CARE WHO DOES IT. IT JUST NEEDS TO BE DONE. IT NEEDS TO BE DONE TWO WEEKS AGO LIKE RONA AMBROSE SAID AND THE OTHER BUSINESS LEADER SAID, NOT TWO WEEKS FROM NOW WHEN WE'RE OUT OF BEDS.

Steve says I HAVE SEEN YOU GIVE THIS MESSAGE NUMEROUS TIMES ON TELEVISION OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS AND I WONDER WHETHER YOU THINK OUR DECISION-MAKERS ARE GETTING IT.

Michael says I DON'T SIT AT THE HIGHEST TABLES. I HAVE LOTS OF OTHER THINGS I COULD BE DOING OTHER THAN BEING ON TV RIGHT NOW. I NEED TO DO WHAT I CAN TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. IF ONE PERSON CHANGES THEIR BEHAVIOUR BECAUSE THEY'VE HEARD WHAT I'VE HAD TO SAY, THAT'S GOOD. THERE'S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT FRONT LINE HEALTH CARE WORKERS ARE SEEING. THEY NEED TO LISTEN TO ME. THEY NEED TO LISTEN TO US. BECAUSE WE ARE THE ONES WHO ARE GOING TO BE SEEING PEOPLE WHO ARE DYING.

Steve says AND I JUST WANT TO BE CLEAR, THOUGH. AT THE MOMENT, DO YOU THINK THEY ARE ADEQUATELY TAKING YOUR WARNINGS TO HEART?

Michael says NO.

Steve says WHY NOT?

Michael says BECAUSE THERE'S STILL NOT ENOUGH BEING DONE. WHEN I WALK AROUND MY NEIGHBORHOOD, THERE ARE STILL HOMES BEING BUILT, THERE ARE CONSTRUCTION SITES FILLED WITH PEOPLE, THERE ARE STILL PEOPLE FOR WHATEVER REASON ARE NOT TAKING THIS SERIOUSLY AND THERE'S NOTHING MORE SERIOUS THAN WHAT'S GOING ON RIGHT NOW. YOU KNOW, I'M THE SHARP END OF THE STICK. I'M THE PERSON THAT'S GOING TO HAVE TO DENY LIFE SUPPORT TO A PERSON BECAUSE I'VE RUN OUT OF MACHINES OR TAKE SOMEONE OFF LIFE SUPPORT BECAUSE SOMEONE ELSE NEEDS THE MACHINE. AND I DON'T WANT TO BE IN A POSITION WHERE SOCIETY HAS TO DEAL WITH, YOU KNOW, THAT SITUATION, BOTH PERSONALLY BUT I ALSO THINK THAT'S BAD FOR EVERYBODY. SO WE NEED TO DO EVERYTHING NOW TO MITIGATE THE RISK OF BEING IN THAT POSITION IN THE FUTURE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Patricia Kozicka, @TrishKozicka."

Steve says I THINK THAT VERY STARK ADVICE IS A GOOD PLACE TO LEAVE THIS. I WANT TO THANK COLLEEN FLOOD, RYAN ALFORD, AND MICHAEL WARNER FOR COMING ON TO TVO TONIGHT AND HAVING THIS CONVERSATION. MANY THANKS, YOU THREE.

All the guests say THANK YOU.

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