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Briefings with reporters taking a testy tone

At today’s Ottawa press briefings both Prime Minister Trudeau and the panel headed by Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland faced more pointed questioning from reporters. Trudeau was repeatedly asked and repeatedly dodged questions about possible forecast spread of the COVID19 virus and numbers of deaths that can be expected. There is a range out there” said Trudeau. “Just highlighting that range is not as useful or important as being able to get clearer numbers & clear analysis of what we are likely to face. But everything that we are going to face will be directly linked to how people behave today” Prompting one tweeter to mock the PM in this satirical tweet: “Reporter: Mr. Trudeau, what did you have for breakfast? PM: “We agree that breakfast is fundamentally important to Canadians, and we’ll be ensuring that in the coming days it is there to eat.” At her briefing Crystia Freeland bristled at one reporter question, saying, “I disagree with the assertions that you have packed into that question.” Health Minister Patti Hajdu accused a reporter of spreading conspiracy theories.

Meanwhile Ontario Premier Doug Ford has moved in the opposite direction regarding sharing COVID data. He told reporters at his daily briefing today that tomorrow his team will release detailed projections and he warned reporters that the information will be “sobering.” “You deserve to know what I know,” the Premier said. “I said I will be transparent and I will be transparent,” said Ford in response to a question of whether he is breaking ranks with Trudeau on the issue of releasing COVID modelling information.

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