After a day spent imploring Canadians to stay inside, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter to encourage some Hollywood friends to share the message.
Earlier in the day on March 23, Mr. Trudeau told the Canadian public “enough is enough.”
“Go home and stay home. This is what we all need to be doing, and we’re going to make sure this happens, whether by educating people more on the risks, or by enforcing the rules, if that’s needed. Nothing that could help is off the table,” he said from his self-isolation hideout at Rideau Cottage.
In a tweet that evening, Mr. Trudeau encouraged Canadians to tag their friends and remind them to stay home. The friends the PM tagged in his own tweet: actor Ryan Reynolds and singer Michael Bublé.
“I think in times of crisis, I think we all know, it’s the celebrities that we count on most,” Mr. Reynolds quipped on Twitter. “They’re the ones that are going to get us through this.”
“Right after health care workers of course, first responders, people who work in essential services, ping pong players, mannequins—they’re great—childhood imaginary friends, sure, like 400 other types of people.”
“Look, stay at home, practice social distancing, wash your hands. We are going to get through this thing,” the Deadpool star said.
Soon, Canadian celebrities of all sorts were calling for Canadians to “plank the curve” on Twitter, including Jann Arden, Seth Rogen, Hayley Wickenheiser, Steven Page, and Tom Green, among others.
Green Party lowers leadership contest barriers
Green Party interim leader Jo-Ann Roberts says that her party’s leadership convention has not been suspended, but a delay remains an option. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
As the Conservative Party debates whether its leadership vote will be moved due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Green Party is making changes to ease roadblocks for its leadership candidates to make the ballot.
The party announced in a March 23 press release that the 100 signatures required for each leadership candidate to be officially nominated can now be gathered online.
The fee for candidates has also been lowered to $30,000 from the original $40,000. But the deadline for both will remain the same: June 3.
Interim Green Party leader Jo-Ann Roberts announced that, as of yet, her party’s October leadership convention has not been cancelled, but said in the release that “remains a possibility if members are not able to travel or gather in large groups.” The convention is scheduled for Oct. 2 to 4 in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
“We are not suspending the leadership contest at this time because we realize how important leadership is during a crisis and this is an opportunity for those seeking this position to demonstrate their values to members in this difficult time,” Ms. Roberts said in a statement.
Current Green Party leadership candidates include Judy Green, Amita Kuttner, Dimitri Lescaris, David Merner, Annamie Paul, and Alex Tyrell. The six individuals are seeking to be the first leader of the party since 2006, when now-parliamentary leader Elizabeth May took the helm.
Peace Tower bells to be silenced
The Peace Tower carillon typically takes place every weekday throughout the year, from 12 to 12:15 p.m. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
With life on the Hill dramatically changed due to COVID-19, the Peace Tower carillon will be added to the list of cancellations, according to a CTV report.
The performance takes place on every weekday throughout the year, from 12 to 12:15 p.m. Performances are extended in July and August to a full hour from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
But, given the construction to Centre Block, Dominion Carillonneur Andrea McCrady needs to be escorted through the building and with COVID-19 social distancing requirements in place, having two people in the elevator that leads to the carillon is unsafe, according to the report.
The carillon has 53 bells ranging in size, with the largest at 10,090 kilograms—known as the bourbon—and the smallest weighing in at 4.5 kilograms.
PSPC, firms behind Senate of Canada Building reno win architecture award
The federal department and contracted firms responsible for the recent renovation of the Senate of Canada Building won the 2020 Civic Trust Award earlier this month.
The Senate of Canada Building has won 10 awards since its renovation was completed in late 2018. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
Public Services and Procurement Canada, Diamond Schmitt Architects, and KWC Architects were awarded the prize in Manchester, England on March 6.
“This award demonstrates our ability to successfully deliver complex rehabilitation projects which support the evolving needs of a 21st-century Parliament,” Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said in a press release.
The Civic Trust Award is given to projects that show excellence in “architecture, sustainability, inclusiveness, and universal design.”
The renovation transformed Ottawa’s old train station, which had been used as a conference centre since the 1960s. Now, the building hosts a temporary Senate Chamber, offices, and three committee rooms as Centre Block undergoes a more than decade-long renovation.
“The architects behind the Senate of Canada Building balanced conservation and innovation to transform a century-old landmark into a modern home for Canada’s Upper Chamber, and a space for all Canadians to enjoy,” Senate Speaker George J. Furey said in the release.
The Senate of Canada Building was also nominated for the Selwyn Goldsmith Award for Universal Design—the only North American project to be nominated.
Since renovations to the building completed in 2018—at a total estimated cost of $219-million—it has been given 10 awards.
The Hill Times
Neil Moss is a reporter at The Hill Times covering federal politics, foreign policy, and defence.