Remarks on the COVID-19 situation and support for Veterans
I want to begin by addressing the COVID-19 situation in Manitoba.
The record numbers the province has seen over the last few days is really concerning.
In light of this surge, we’re partnering with Manitoba First Nations to provide over $61 million in immediate funding to support their response.
This funding will support public health measures, food security, and other surge capacity needs.
In addition, Indigenous Services Canada is mobilizing contact tracers and equipment to further help affected communities.
Of course, Manitoba isn’t alone. Across the country, and around the world, we’re seeing rising numbers of COVID-19 cases.
This was the main focus of my calls with President-elect Biden and Prime Minister Johnson yesterday.
With rising cases of COVID-19 here at home, there’s added pressure on all orders of government to keep people safe and to protect jobs.
But I would hope that no leader in our country is easing public health vigilance because they feel pressure not to shut down businesses or slow down our economy.
I understand that worry, but let me tell you: that’s how we end up with businesses going out of business and the economy damaged even more.
Beating COVID is the only way to protect our economy.
Yes, we have great news of possible vaccines on the horizon.
But a vaccine later won’t help you or your family if you get sick now.
The federal government is here to help your communities.
We are providing unprecedented direct support to those businesses impacted by any shut down orders.
We are there for workers who lose hours. Who lose their job.
It’s tough, but I know we can get through this.
We’re seeing record spikes this morning across the country.
So I urge the Premiers and the Mayors to please do the right thing: act now to protect public health.
If you think something is missing in the support we’re offering your citizens – tell us.
We will work with you, as we have since day one.
This federal government promised to have Canadians’ backs.
And we will.
Whatever it takes, for as long it takes.
We all know the virus is surging.
So once again, I am asking all Canadians to please follow your local public health guidelines:
Wash your hands.
Wear a mask.
Keep a safe two-metre distance from each other.
And download the COVID Alert app.
Together, we will get through this.
In recent days, Canada posted a record number of cases and we are very concerned about the situation.
The virus is spreading quickly and that is why we must continue our efforts.
So please, follow the advice of your public health authorities:
Wash your hands.
Wear a mask.
Keep a safe two-metre distance from others.
And download the free COVID Alert app.
By working together, we will get through this.
Job one right now is keeping people safe.
So whether it’s by buying more PPE or helping to ramp up testing, that’s what our government is focused on.
Over the past few days, we’ve provided over 1.2 million pairs of nitrile gloves to workers on the front lines, with millions more to come.
We’ve also provided over 3.3 million rapid tests to the provinces and territories, with more on the way.
And to ensure that we have as many resources as possible, Health Canada approved another rapid test, the BD Veritor. This is a handheld device that can process a test in just over 15 minutes.
Canada has a contract for 7.6 million of these tests overall, with millions arriving before the end of this year.
We expect delivery to start in the next few weeks.
To date, we’ve provided more than 3.3 million rapid tests to the provinces and territories, with more on the way.
And to ensure that we have as many resources as possible, Health Canada approved another rapid test, the BD Veritor.
This is a handheld device that can perform a test in just over 15 minutes.
Canada has a contract for 7.6 million of these tests in total, with millions arriving in the weeks to come.
Finding a safe, effective vaccine is vital to stop the spread of COVID-19.
That’s why we’ve secured millions of doses of potential vaccines from the world’s leading vaccine manufacturers and therapeutics.
Right now, scientists and companies are working around the clock, and just yesterday, we heard promising news from Pfizer and Bio-N-Tech’s vaccine candidate.
Canada signed a deal to secure millions of these doses back in August, adding to our diverse portfolio of potential vaccines and therapeutics.
We will continue to support researchers and scientists in the weeks and months to come.
Just yesterday, we heard promising news from Pfizer and Bio-N-Tech’s vaccine candidate.
In August, Canada signed an agreement to secure millions of doses of this vaccine, which is among our diversified options of potential vaccines.
We are going to continue to work with scientists and when a vaccine is approved, we will be ready.
Since the start of this pandemic, we’ve seen Canadian companies step up to make personal protective equipment.
And as a part of our Made in Canada plan, we’ve been supporting businesses like General Motors in Oshawa to do just that.
So far, they’ve made nearly five million masks for people right here at home.
These are masks made by Canadians, for Canadians.
And the production of these essential pieces of PPE are creating good jobs.
On that note, the newly ratified agreement between GM and Unifor is great news for workers and for our auto industry in Canada.
I spoke with Mary Barra, the CEO of GM yesterday and we’re both excited about what our future collaboration could bring.
This agreement brings up to 1,700 new, good-paying jobs in Oshawa, while securing jobs in St. Catharines and Woodstock.
This is a vote of confidence by industry leaders in Canada’s economy.
Our government will continue to work with our partners to ensure that Canadians get good jobs they can rely on.
I want to end this morning by taking a moment to recognize that tomorrow, we will mark Remembrance Day.
Canadians would normally gather at cenotaphs across the country to pay tribute to those who fought for our freedom.
People would gather at local Royal Canadian Legions, to thank the heroes who kept this country strong and free.
But this year will be different.
COVID-19 means many ceremonies are online. Many Veterans are staying at home.
And too many of the Legions that provide support for them are facing tough times themselves.
Our Veterans served Canada with honour and valour.
They stepped up for us, and now, we must step up for them.
So today, I can announce that the Government of Canada is providing $20 million to create the new Veterans Organizations Emergency Support Fund.
This fund is designed to help Veterans’ organizations keep providing services.
Over $17 million of the funding will go to the Royal Canadian Legion, ANAVETS, True Patriot Love, and VETS Canada.
The remaining amount is available – through application – to other Veterans’ organizations that have been affected by COVID-19. Minister MacAulay will have more to share on this in a few minutes.
But to the women and men who have served our country, I want to say this – you represent the best of who we are, and we will forever be in your debt.
And to all those who bravely serve today – thank you for everything you do.
Aujourd’hui, j’annonce que le gouvernement du Canada va investir 20 millions de dollars dans la création du Fonds d’urgence à l’appui des organismes de vétérans.
Ce fonds est conçu pour aider ces organismes à continuer de fournir des services pour soutenir ceux qui ont été touchés par la crise.
Cette semaine, même si on ne peut pas se rassembler comme on a l’habitude de le faire, on peut toujours montrer notre soutien à nos vétérans en portant un coquelicot et en regardant les cérémonies du jour du Souvenir en ligne.
J’encourage les Canadiens à rechercher le mot-clic #LeCanadaSeSouvient sur les médias sociaux pour lire des récits de service et de sacrifice à propos de nos braves femmes et hommes en uniforme.
En vue du jour du Souvenir, rendons hommage à nos anciens combattants qui nous ont tant donné et à nos militaires qui continuent d’être là pour nous.