COVID internment camps in Canada don't exist despite what you might have heard
Let's get something straight, Canada: COVID-19 internment camps are not a thing, despite what you may have heard to the contrary.
A disinformation campaign has been circulating the idea of internment camps on social media for weeks now, but Health Minister Patty Hajdu has shot the idea down.
"The answer is no, we're not building containment or internment camps," a spokesperson for Health Minister Patty Hajdu told CBC News on Tuesday.
1/6 Federally designated quarantine sites, typically hotel rooms, are not internment camps. #Misinformation is circulating that Canada is using concentration camps for #COVID19 quarantine. This is completely false. THREAD ⬇️— Health Canada and PHAC (@GovCanHealth) October 21, 2020
The idea was perpetuated by independent Ontario MPP Randy Hillier, an anti-masker that once dared the Liberal government to "throw the book at him" for organizing maskless rallies.
Hillier warned his constituents in early October that the federal government is preparing to establish COVID "camps."
"These quarantine isolation camps are, however, not limited to people with COVID," Hillier said during a session at Queen's Park.
"Where will these camps be built, how many people will be detained, and for what reason, for what reason can people be kept in these isolation camps?"
Hillier's speech has been circulated widely on social media, with some people even comparing the hypothetical quarantine sites to Nazi Germany's concentration camps.
Admittedly, Canadians are required to isolate for 14 days after returning from abroad, so the government has set up quarantine sites for travellers that don't have a safe place to stay.
The quarantine sites primarily consist of hotels, however.
Similarly, the government has set up facilities for homeless and vulnerable Canadians that need somewhere to self-isolate — but the sites are completely voluntary.
4/6 If travellers to Canada are confirmed to have no other suitable options available, they may be transferred to a designated #GoC quarantine facility. This measure is used as a last resort.— Health Canada and PHAC (@GovCanHealth) October 21, 2020
Hajdu isn't the only official to speak out about the conspiracy theory; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau admitted on Tuesday that he had to reassure a young woman during a virtual meeting that "COVID internment camps" aren't real.
"Unfortunately, there is a tremendous amount of noise and harmful misinformation on the internet," he said.
Moral of the story? Listen to that old Canadian house hippo commercial and remember that not all news is necessarily true — including quarantine camps.
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