Producing vaccines, creating good jobs, and building an economy that works for all Canadians
Thanks Noubar! I would like to send my regards to Steven and Patricia at Moderna.
The conversations we had throughout the pandemic as we got to know each other, like so many people did over Zoom. Not just about vaccines and about when you could get more vaccines to Canada, you were always responsive on that, but mostly about how we make sure we're ensuring health security not just now, but for the future. How to make sure that Canada once again is able to respond not just to its own needs, but help lead the world at a time of uncertainty and a time of potentially more pandemics in the coming decades. Your connection with Canada from having studied here, from having come here as a child, and your commitment to Canadians and to people around the world made it absolutely wonderful to work with you. But I have to say, for all the conversations we had over the past two years, it's great to finally be able to welcome you here and kick off this extraordinary partnership for Canadians in a very, very tangible way.
I’m very happy to be here in Laval today with François-Philippe and a number of members of our Liberal team. I also wish to acknowledge and thank Stéphane Boyer, the Mayor of Laval. Stéphane, one year ago today you were elected in the Quebec municipal elections for the party. It’s a wonderful announcement to show that you are delivering for the people of Laval. Christopher Skeete, Quebec Minister for the Economy, it is a pleasure to see you and a pleasure to work with you.
You know, when the federal and provincial governments can work together to deliver tangible results, not only jobs, but growth, resources and safety products like vaccines, it’s a win-win for everyone. I would like to welcome everyone who has joined us today.
I’m pleased to be in Quebec now to talk about what we’ve done to improve the lives of people. With the increasing cost of living, it’s becoming difficult for too many Canadians to pay bills. That is why our government continues to be there for you. To help middle-class families and those who need it the most, we have doubled the tax credit for the GST for 6 months for 11 million households. Payments, in fact, started to arrive last Friday. Hundreds of dollars have already been added to the bank accounts of those who need it the most. And we’re working to ensure that everyone can send their children to the dentist. We are also going to help low-income renters pay the rent with an additional payment of $500. We are all working to be there for people in the short term, while building a more prosperous long term. But it’s at that level that we must continue to all work together, and I hope that all parties in the House of Commons, including the Conservative Party, have decided to support renter and dental care assistance.
During the pandemic, we promised to restore our capacity to produce vaccines here in Canada. Already, we have completed the construction of a new biologics manufacturing centre at the National Research Council of Canada, not far from here, in Montréal. And we have made a number of investments with companies in the bio-manufacturing sector across the country. In April, Moderna announced its intention to build a plant here in Quebec. And today, we are very pleased to come together to celebrate the construction that has begun here in Laval. The new Moderna plant will be able to manufacture up to 100 million vaccines annually, vaccines for COVID but also for seasonal flu and other respiratory ailments. Noubar and the people at Moderna, we have spoken often since the start of the pandemic. We are still working together. I’m very pleased to be able to continue our collaboration in creating good jobs here in Canada, especially at keeping people healthy. And while I’m here this morning, I will take this time to encourage all Canadians to stay up to date with your COVID vaccinations and go get your boosters if you are eligible.
It's important for everyone with winter coming, with people headed back indoors to stay up to date in your vaccinations including getting boosted as soon as you're eligible. There's still a lot of virus going around. Do it to protect your health and to protect our health workers who are so busy on the front lines being the heroes we need them to be. Being able to make vaccines here in Canada is part of our government's plan to keep people safe and to create good jobs for Canadians. Moderna will also invest in research and development here in Canada, which will help us continue to expand our life sciences sector. This is what we mean when we say that we're working to attract investments and working to make our country more competitive. Canada is an attractive place for companies like Moderna to invest and innovate and we're going to continue making sure that the whole world knows this.
Creating hundreds of good jobs while safeguarding the health of our communities, that’s building an economy focused on the well-being of all Canadians. When a company like Moderna sets up shop in Canada, it further enriches our biotechnologies sector, in addition to developing talent at home. Speaking of talent from here, I wanted to address young people and students. I know that the pandemic was hard for you. Whether you are at the start of your career or still in school, you want to do your part in building a better world. More than ever, in our vision of building a more resilient economy, we need your help as researchers, engineers and innovators. And that is why in the Fall Economic Statement, we announced the permanent elimination of interest on federal student loans.
Our government is doing everything so that young people, students and scientists, you can live your dreams and build a career here, at home, while making a real difference in our communities. The Moderna plant, which is being built, is a big step in the right direction. But we mustn’t forget either that if we can build this plant here, if we can start the construction in October or November, when the Montréal winter is approaching, it is because we also have the best construction workers in the world. I would like to highlight all the workers we have met here today, who are doing this work to build Canada where we live every day.
Thank you, everyone for your work.