Updating Canadians on COVID-19 and on support for businesses, vaccines, and treatment research
Over the weekend, we’ve seen Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Alberta all report new single-day highs of COVID-19.
Just yesterday, P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador left the Atlantic bubble, as cases increase on the East Coast.
And a few days ago, our government approved a request for assistance to deploy in a long-term care home in the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba.
As they always do, our brave women and men in uniform are stepping up again to support Canadians and help provinces get the situation under control.
The cases we are seeing are extremely concerning, and the federal government will continue to be there—for people and small businesses—every step of the way.
As of yesterday, applications opened for the newly launched Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy.
If you own a small business, you could get up to 65% of your business’s rent covered. This goes directly to you and not through your landlord.
If your community is in lockdown, we’re adding an extra 25% of help for commercial rent through the new Lockdown Support.
Combined with the rent subsidy, you could have up to 90% of your rent covered.
To help with another big expense for business—payroll—the Wage Subsidy has also been extended until June of next year.
These programs are just some of the many measures we’ve introduced to have the backs of business owners and workers alike through this second wave.
Go to Canada.ca/coronavirus to find out what supports are there for you.
We knew that this second wave had the potential to get really serious, really fast.
And we also knew that we had to be ready to do whatever it takes to get it under control.
Because at the end of the day, lives are at stake.
I know you get that.
I know you’re worried about the people around you.
Last Tuesday, I got an email from Jacquie in Edmonton.
Jacquie is worried about her husband who works in the school system.
She’s worried about her grandparents and parents-in-law who are in long-term care homes.
She’s worried about her kids.
Jacquie, I hear you. You’re right—this is a tough time.
I want you to know that you’re not in this alone.
Our government’s top priority is to keep Canadians safe.
That’s why, every step of the way we’ve been supporting the provinces so that they can make the right decisions for you.
Our supports for businesses and for people mean that local officials don’t have to choose between people’s health or the economy.
And we’ve been supporting with supplies as well.
As of last week, we’ve sent over 300,000 rapid tests to Alberta, and 444,000 face masks.
The federal government has also provided $1.3 billion to the province for everything from PPE to contact tracers through the Safe Restart Agreement, with another $260 million for schools in Alberta through the Safe Return to Class Fund.
And that’s just some of the support we’ve made available for people and businesses in Alberta, just like for everyone across the country.
No matter where you live, we will continue to be there for you through this second wave, and beyond.
Our top priority is still keeping Canadians safe.
Whether that means buying more personal protective equipment, increasing testing, or investing in research, that is what we work on.
Since last week, we have provided more than 2.9 million pairs of nitrile gloves to the provinces and territories, and more are coming.
We have also sent them 4.6 million rapid tests, and millions more are coming.
People need this essential help on the ground.
We will continue to do our part and to provide them with the equipment they need over the weeks and months to come.
It is essential that we purchase and distribute protective equipment and rapid tests, but it’s also important to find a safe and effective vaccine if we want to beat COVID-19.
Just yesterday, we heard promising news about the candidate vaccine from AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
Canada already has an agreement to receive up to 20 million doses.
This vaccine is one of a range of potential vaccines for Canadians.
And when we have a vaccine, we will need the right equipment to administer it.
To date, we have received over 24 million syringes and needles, and more deliveries will be arriving every week.
This is part of the strategy we have put in place so we are ready when the vaccine is ready.
We know that not everyone will be vaccinated at the same time.
We will have to determine priorities.
But everything we are doing now will help us vaccinate Canadians as quickly as possible.
To keep Canadians safe, we need access to as many potential vaccines and treatments as possible.
Today, I can announce that we’ve signed a deal to secure up to 26,000 doses of a therapeutic drug from Eli Lilly, with options for thousands more.
This treatment was developed in partnership with Vancouver’s AbCellera Biologics, and is part of our support for researchers right here at home who are working around the clock to find a treatment for COVID-19.
So to the scientists and researchers across the country:
Thank you for everything you do.
Just like always, your dedication and expertise is making Canadians heathier and safer, and is building a better tomorrow.
Canada is lucky to have thousands of world-class scientists and researchers.
As a government, we will continue to be here every step of the way to support you in the work you do.
I can announce today that we have signed an agreement to secure up to 26,000 doses of a therapeutic drug from Eli Lilly, with the possibility of receiving thousands more.
This treatment was developed in partnership with Vancouver’s AbCellera Biologics, through our support to researchers who are working tirelessly to find a treatment right here in Canada.
We will continue to support our scientists and our researchers, who will stop at nothing to find a safe and effective treatment for this virus.
I would like to thank them for everything they are doing for their country and for the world.
The news about promising vaccine candidates that we’ve heard in the past few days is reason to be hopeful.
Our government has worked hard to secure tens of millions of doses, so we’re prepared once a safe, effective vaccine is ready for Canadians.
But we cannot be complacent now.
Remember, if you catch COVID-19 this week, a vaccine in the coming months won’t help you.
We’ve seen restrictions increase across the country over the past few days, and Canadians are taking extra care to stay home.
But I want to remind you—nothing that we do today will bring the numbers down this week.
This week’s numbers were already determined by behaviours last week and the week before.
What we can affect today is what our country looks like a week, two weeks from now.
So continue doing your part to keep yourself, your family, and your loved ones safe.
Stay at home.
Wear a mask.
Avoid social gatherings, especially indoors.
And don’t forget to download the COVID-19 app.
It’s easy, free, and quick.
And it’s incredibly powerful.
Just ask Sasha from Toronto.
Sasha downloaded the app, and two weeks ago it notified him that he’d been exposed to someone who had tested positive for COVID-19.
Sasha always wears his mask, sanitizes everything, and felt just fine.
But he did the right thing, and went in to get tested.
Well, the test came back positive.
He’d been asymptomatic the whole time.
If Sasha hadn’t had COVID Alert, he would never have known.
But because of the app he found out, and then was able self-isolate to keep other people safe.
He and his family are almost done their self-isolation, and they’ve said that they want everyone to know about their story so that as many people as possible use the COVID Alert app.
To Sasha and his wife Kate:
Thank you for doing the right thing by getting the app, getting tested, and then staying home.
And thank you for sharing your story to encourage even more people to make the smart, responsible choice that you did.
The more people download this app, the stronger it becomes.
So join the over 5.4 million Canadians who—like Sasha—have downloaded the COVID Alert app.
The more people who download the app, the more effective it is.
So, join the 5.4 million Canadians who have downloaded the COVID Alert app.
Yesterday, I spoke with students and teachers at Saint Martha Catholic School in Kingston, Ontario, along with local member of Parliament, Mark Gerretsen.
So I would like to end today by directly addressing the teachers and support staff who are helping us to educate our children during this difficult time:
I know that this year has been hard.
I know that you will continue doing everything you can to help our children, to raise our children, to teach our children.
But it’s really not easy. You are putting yourselves at risk, you are going above and beyond to support our children and their parents.
I know the commitment it takes to be a teacher. I know what you are doing as teachers and I can assure you that all Canadians are immensely grateful.
Keep up the excellent work. Keep being there for us, as we will continue to be there for you.