Dozens of Kamloops-area residents are stranded abroad and trying to return to Canada as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens.
“We’re dealing with an enormous number of cases of people who are all over the world trying to get home,” Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod told KTW.
“Our constituents are in Portugal, they’re in Mexico. They’re all over the world.”
McLeod said she is also dealing with many calls from business owners, given the economic toll the pandemic is taking, with new closures and layoffs seemingly announced hourly.
“There are a lot of suggestions from business for how the government could help them,” she said. “We have all hands on deck. A lot is happening.”
McLeod herself is in self-isolation, though she is confident she does not have the virus that causes COVID-19.
“I’m 90 per cent sure it’s a cold, but they say if you have any symptoms of illness to stay out of contact with people,” she said.
Friday was the fifth day of her self-isolation.
“I am doing everything by phone,” she said.
McLeod, a Conservative, called the Liberal government’s stimulus announcement on Wednesday “important” and very much needed. The federal government unveiled an $82-billion financial package aimed at helping those impacted by the pandemic and small Canadian businesses.
“We know that there are health concerns, but we also hear about all the layoffs happening,” McLeod said. “People are very concerned. Having a plan that supports our families is what is needed.”
McLeod said she is heartened by the overall response of Canadians to the pandemic.
“Truly, these are extraordinary times,” she said. “We’re seeing more of the best of our community than the worst.”