Federal Government Finishing the fight against COVID-19
January 11, 2022
While we had hoped the turning of the page to 2022 would bring us closer to pre-pandemic times, we are all still experiencing the ups and downs that the Omicron variant has brought. It has always been a possibility that a variant, such as Omicron, could derail recovery efforts. This is why the federal government, through legislation passed last year, has ensured that it has the latitude to extend supports for businesses, families, and workers as is necessary.
The federal government has extended pandemic benefits to help businesses, families, and workers dealing with the financial hardships resulting from the surge in COVID-19 cases and the ensuing provincial public health measures implemented recently. Among the benefits extended are supports for parents caring for children who are home from school that are unable to attend work, businesses subject to capacity restriction, and workers who are sick or not able to work due to provincial public health measures. We’ll do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to continue supporting Canadians and growing our economy recovers. A strong recovery is one where Canadians in all regions and all industries can stay healthy and get back to work safely.
In a recent meeting with Guelph’s Chamber of Commerce, WDG Public Health, local school board representatives and all local levels of government, we discussed the federal government’s commitment to be there for Canadians throughout the current wave of the pandemic.
The Federal Government has been their for Canadians throughout the pandemic, and overall, $8 out of every $10 spent in Canada fighting COVID-19 has came from the federal government. This includes a top-up of $5 billion through the Canada Health Transfer to help provinces and territories address the extreme pressures COVID-19 has put on our health care systems, $2 billion through the Safe Return to Class Fund to ensure schools have sufficient ventilation and PPE, and $1 billion to the vaccine rollout across the country, all of which contribute to protect the health and safety of Canadians.
Recently, Prime Minister Trudeau also announced that in January 140 million rapid tests have been sent to provincial and territorial governments, in addition to the 120 million rapid tests distributed in 2021, to expedite the detection of COVID-19 and prevent further transmission. These are enough rapid tests for every Canadian to be tested once a week for the next month, if necessary. We are now relying on our provincial partners to deliver tests in collaboration with local public health organizations, who are responding to both the surge of the Omicron variant and the strains on local healthcare workers who were already experiencing extreme circumstances.
We continue to emphasize that the best way to finish the fight against COVID-19 is to get the job done on vaccines. While we are still seeing hospitalizations, we know that the vaccines are working to decrease the severity and duration of COVID-19. There is a vaccine for every Canadian, whether it’s a first dose, a shot for a child, or a booster shot. In particular, it is important that all children above the age of 5 that will soon be attending schools, and staff in schools have been fully vaccinated. Through federal financial “safe restart” support, local school boards have improved ventilation and provided PPE, additional cleaning, and implemented safety protocols to make our schools a safe place to learn and work.
As Canadians continue to be impacted by COVID-19 and the public health measures that keep them safe, our government will always work to ensure they have the support they need. I continue to be heartened by the collaborative approach taken by Guelph to dealing with COVID-19, I am thankful for the amazing work being done by our front-line workers, and I am proud to continue to serve our community as its Member of Parliament.
Member of Parliament for Guelph
The federal government has stood by to respond to the needs of provincial governments with rapid tests, vaccines, and support from the military when necessary, and has met every request for support. Please see see the breakdowns below of recent deliveries to provincial governments:
- In the months leading to November 2021, 85M tests had been directly shipped to provinces and territories
- In December 2021, 35M tests have been directly shipped to the provinces and territories – about 5 times the average number of tests used in the past year.
- For the month of January, the federal government will deliver 140M tests to the Provinces and Territories allocated on a per-capita basis with deliveries well underway.
- As of January 10, 10M booster shots have been administered across the country.
- With ample supply in federal, provincial, and territorial inventories and upcoming deliveries, Canada will have enough mRNA vaccine supply for all eligible Canadians to receive a booster dose.
- 9 million pediatric doses were delivered to Provinces and Territories in November, which is enough to provide a first dose to all children aged 5 to 11.
- As of January 10, over 45% of children aged 5-11 have received their first dose of a pediatric COVID-19 vaccine.