A clip of Canada’s former Minister for Health, Patty Hajdu, discussing federal funding for voluntary quarantine facilities for those exposed to COVID-19 who want to isolate away from their families is not recent and was not announced in response to the Omicron variant. The video dates to March 2021; Hajdu is no longer the country’s health minister.
The 53-second video, with a logo for Canada’s Global News on the bottom left corner, shows Hajdu saying: “Today we’re confirming an additional $27.3 million in federal funding to operate isolation sites in regions such as Toronto, Peel, York and Durham, and we are finalizing the details for similar sites in Thunder Bay, Windsor, and other regions.”
The clip has a jump cut at the 20-second mark. Hajdu is then heard saying: “Today’s funding will allow for an additional 16,000 rooms to be created bringing the total to approximately 2,000 rooms in the province. Now, these rooms are going to be of great use for people that contract COVID-19 and want to protect the members of their household from also contracting the disease. It’s really important that public health units work with their local municipalities and that they support citizens to properly isolate when they’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 so that we can curtail the spread.”
The clip was uploaded by a user on Nov. 30 with no context as to when this statement was made. The clip had over 128,000 views by the time of publication, with many thinking the clip was recent (here). A user added in the comments: “Totally normal after 2 years after you’ve vaccinated nearly everyone” (here).
One user who shared the clip via Twitter on Nov. 30 said: “These people have completely lost the narrative and their minds. Power is such an awful addiction” (here). Another said: “Big announcement $23 million additional spending to intern 2000 more Canadians during flu season. #onpoki #cdnpoli” (here).
The clip is not recent, however, and dates to March 23, 2021. The clip, taken from a news conference, is viewable on the Global News website (here).
The statement on the official Canadian government website released on March 23 can also be seen (archive.md/YnzBJ). The isolation centers are voluntary as part of the ‘Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites’ program: “The Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites program exists to fill a gap for cities, municipalities and health regions that are at-risk of high rates of COVID-19 transmission. Evidence continues to indicate that individuals from lower income and densely populated neighborhoods are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, including its most severe outcomes” (archive.md/YnzBJ).
Patty Hajdu is also not the current Canadian Minister of Health and serves as Minister of Indigenous Services as of Oct. 2021. Jean-Yves Duclos is the current Minister of Health (twitter.com/jyduclos).
Duclos did indeed announce more than $5 million of additional funding for voluntary isolation sites in British Columbia on Nov. 26, 2021 (here).
Missing context. Canada’s Minister for Health did not recently allocate $27.3 million in federal funding for accommodation for those who contracted COVID-19. The announcement was made in March 2021 by the former Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu, with many on social media duped into thinking that the clip occurred recently.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .
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