Federal COVID-19 internment camps are not a thing in Canada, and any messaging suggesting such is a dangerous conspiracy theory.
That’s the message federal officials are sending to Canadians in the wake of circulating misinformation suggesting that the government will force Canadians into “COVID-19 internment camps.”
There’s no truth to that, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“There is a tremendous amount of noise and harmful misinformation … on the internet,” he told reporters Tuesday. “We need to hold together and resist people who would sow chaos within our communities and our democracy.”
Here’s what you need to know.
What’s actually happening?
The federal government is funding voluntary self-isolation sites for people unable to quarantine any other way. These include travel-related quarantine sites and a recently announced Toronto facility to house homeless people with COVID-19 and other vulnerable populations.
“As we work together to keep COVID-19 under control, this new site will help those for whom it’s simply not possible to limit close contacts and self-isolate effectively at home,” Health Minister Patty Hajdu said at the announcement in September.
WATCH: Hajdu urges young Canadians to socialize safely. Story continues below.
When it comes to travel, if you return from abroad you are required to self-isolate at home for 14 days. If you are unable to quarantine safely at home, you’re encouraged to seek out quarantine facilities within your financial means, such as a hotel room. As a last resort, there are now hotels and other facilities in some Canadian cities that will lodge travellers for the quarantine period.
While quarantining for 14 days upon return to Canada is mandatory, Canadians will not be compelled to leave their homes for so-called COVID “camps.”
Where did the conspiracy theory start?
Ontario MPP Randy Hillier, a vocal anti-masker, has promoted the debunked conspiracy theory that the federal government is...