Remarks on the COVID-19 situation and the Budget 2021 plan for a feminist recovery
Good morning, everyone.
If things have been hard lately for everyone, there are certain families for whom the last few weeks have been incredibly heartbreaking.
A few days ago, we lost 13-year-old Emily Victoria Viegas to this virus.
Earlier this month, it was a toddler who hadn’t yet turned two.
And tragically, they are not the only children who have been taken by COVID-19.
As a father, I know there are no words for the parents’ grief.
To Emily’s family from Brampton, and to the family in B.C., and to all parents who have lost a child and everyone who has lost a loved one: We are thinking of you, we are grieving with you, and you are not alone.
This virus has already cost too many lives. We have to do everything we can to prevent it from taking any more.
As this third wave continues to hit hard, cases are still rising across the country. Hospitals – and frontline workers – are stretched thin.
This is the moment for us all to work together.
For our part, we’re going to continue doing whatever it takes to beat back this third wave and help provinces and territories get their local situations under control.
To beat back the third wave and protect Ontarians, we’re deploying federal healthcare workers to the province.
This mobilization includes three medical assistance teams and nine critical care nurses from the Canadian Armed Forces.
Yesterday, the Forces carried out their assessment of the needs on the ground in Ontario, to finalize the details of this operation.
We’re working with our provincial partners on next steps, and Armed Forces members will be mobilized in the coming days.
Let’s be clear: sending men and women in uniform to help in Ontario is a serious step.
We’re doing this because the situation requires it.
Today, the first deployment of nurses and doctors from Newfoundland and Labrador will also be arriving in Ontario for the GTA.
They’ll land this afternoon at Pearson, aboard a Canadian Armed Forces airplane.
Newfoundland and Labrador is already organizing a second team of healthcare workers, who will rotate in to help.
Our government is covering the costs of deploying these teams.
And we’re ready to do the same for any other province or territory that can also step in with support.
Unfortunately, Ontario is far from the only place dealing with a spike in cases.
Across Nova Scotia, and especially in the Halifax region, numbers have risen quickly and the province requested help.
So there too, we’re sending support.
We’re deploying 60 Canadian Armed Forces members to testing centres in Nova Scotia.
This will help stop the spread of the virus.
For Albertans, too, we’re standing ready.
Over the weekend, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo – which includes Fort McMurray – declared a state of emergency.
Yesterday, Minister Hajdu talked to Mayor Scott about the outbreak in the region, and the situation on the ground.
Our government has reached out to Alberta on what support they may need to keep people safe and get the situation back under control.
The bottom line is this: Across the country, we’re working with provinces and territories to keep you safe. Across the country, we will have your back and together, we will get through this.
That brings me to vaccines because along with public health measures, these doses are key to beating not only the third wave, but the whole pandemic.
This week, we’ll get almost 2 million doses delivered to Canada.
This includes our first shipment of the Janssen vaccine from Johnson & Johnson.
Looking ahead, Pfizer alone will deliver 2 million doses a week, starting next week.
And we’ll continue to work hard with manufacturers to deliver a stable and growing supply of doses to provinces and territories as they plan vaccination clinics.
When it’s your turn, make sure you book an appointment to get your shot.
Sophie and I got our first doses of AstraZeneca on Friday.
We’re feeling great. We’re feeling more protected, and we’re also feeling like we’re part of the solution going forward.
I want to take a moment to do something I don’t often do from this stage. I regularly talk about our seniors and our young people. I want to take a moment to talk about my generation. Over the past number of days, we’ve seen vaccines made available to people 40 years old and up and that means Generation X has stepped up and stepped out to get vaccinated.
And I want to thank everyone who’s been stepping forward and signing up, and enthusiastically moving forward. Keep it up.
Because of the high uptake, because of everything everyone’s doing to get more doses into Canada and into arms, we’re now second in the G20 in terms of vaccination doses and we’re going to continue.
So thank you to everyone for doing their part.
Across the country, nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and paramedics, are working around the clock to get as many people protected as quickly as possible.
To everyone who is helping out on vaccination, thank you. You are doing an incredible job.
We are working non-stop to get you as many vaccines to administer, as soon as possible.
Fighting this pandemic at home is our top priority. And to end this pandemic anywhere, we have to end it everywhere.
We’ve all seen the heartbreaking news from hospitals in India that are unable to keep up with the number of patients.
Earlier today, Minister Garneau spoke with his Indian counterpart about how Canada can best help, including through the donation of extra medical supplies.
We are also ready to provide $10 million – through the Canadian Red Cross – to the Indian Red Cross.
This will support everything from ambulance services to buying more PPE locally.
If you want to donate to the emergency efforts on the ground, go to RedCross.ca.
I know many Canadians are also concerned about rising cases in Pakistan.
Minister Garneau will be speaking to his counterpart from Pakistan later today about the situation, and what we can do to help.
As a world, we are in this fight together.
We are in what’s hopefully the final stretch of this pandemic. That means we have to hold on and keep each other safe a little longer.
Every time you keep your distance, every time you wear a mask – you take another step closer to the brighter days ahead where we can have dinner with friends on a patio or a big family barbeque in the backyard.
And in continuing our work to keep each other safe, we must make sure that everyone not just weathers this storm, but comes roaring back.
As we face a she-cession – a recession that disproportionately affects women – we cannot allow anyone to get left behind.
That’s why, a week ago, we introduced our progressive, feminist plan for recovery.
So what does that mean for people’s lives?
Well, for women entrepreneurs, it means almost $147 million to help with financing, mentorship, and training.
This is about investing in the kind of entrepreneurs Minister Murray will sit down with today from B.C. and the Deputy Prime Minister will speak to from The51 in Alberta.
I know Minister Monsef will also be speaking with women-owned small businesses from Toronto about what they need to thrive, too.
Women-led small businesses strengthen communities and are the backbone of our economy.
For mothers, this plan means making sure you have good, affordable childcare to balance work and kids.
I know this will come up when Minister Gould speaks to women business owners from Windsor about our plan to reach $10-a-day care across the country in the next 5 years.
For all women, in every part of this country, we need a feminist, progressive plan for the future that makes sure that everyone is safe. That’s why we are moving forward with the first-ever National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence.
Earlier today, Minister Bibeau along with MPs Brière and Bessette met with groups from the Eastern Townships to talk about this plan and how we can keep everyone safe.
The last year has been really tough, whether you’re a parent, a small business owner, a student, or a senior.
But brighter days are up ahead.
And with our plan, we’re going to create good middle class jobs, rebuild a clean, resilient economy, and build a more equal Canada for everyone.