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Prime Minister’s remarks on COVID-19 situation

Ottawa – Hello everyone.
Right from day one, it’s been all hands on deck to keep people safe, support Canadians, and get our economy ready for recovery.

At the top of the agenda will be the vaccine rollout.

And on that front, today I have some important news to share.

Today, I can announce that we reached an agreement with Pfizer to step up delivery of their vaccine doses.

We have reached an agreement with Pfizer to buy an additional 20 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine.

Between now and mid-spring – between April and June – we will have enough doses to vaccinate up to 20 million Canadians.

From our agreements with Moderna and Pfizer alone, we will now have 80 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines arriving this year.

We’re on track to have every Canadian who wants a vaccine receive one by September.

We have let all provinces and territories know how many vaccines they’ll be receiving, every week, between now and the end of February.

This will make sure they have the vaccines and the information they need to keep rolling out doses as quickly, as smoothly, and as efficiently as possible.

On top of that, we will of course continue to work to get even more vaccines delivered as soon as we can.

Major-General Fortin and Dr. Njoo will have more to say on the matter at their press conference this Thursday.

Already the most vulnerable and our frontline workers have received their doses, which are so vital to them.

Our government will continue to work tirelessly with the provinces and territories so that the vaccines are delivered and that people are immunized as quickly and effectively as possible.

Right now, that is our priority.

While our government does what it must to help you and your loved ones get through the pandemic, we are also thinking about what is next.

Recovery must be profitable for all Canadians.

That is why we have a plan to build a stronger, more resilient country in which everyone will have a chance to succeed.

In addition to investing in worker training and creating millions of jobs, we know that true climate action must be the basis of our initiative.

Yesterday, I took part in the One Planet Summit, which brought together leaders from around the world to advance the fight against climate change and the protection of biodiversity.

Canada heads efforts carried out internationally in support of sustainable land management projects around the globe.

And we are doing this while pursuing efforts here in our country to protect nature and keep communities healthy.

Our government will continue to invest so that today and tomorrow’s world will be better, in good health and more prosperous.

Our focus since the start of this pandemic has been protecting you and your family.

Whether by procuring vaccines or by bringing in strict travel and border measures, our priority is your safety.

This morning, I can confirm that Canada will extend by another 30 days – until February 21st – the border measures that are currently in place with the U.S.

This is an important decision, and one that will keep people on both sides of the border safe.

Things are really tough right now, and we all want this pandemic to be behind us.

There have been a lot of things you’ve missed out on or given up.

But what will define this pandemic isn’t what we couldn’t do.

It’s what we could do, and what we did do.

Your parents and grandparents need you to help keep them safe.

Our frontline workers and hospital staff need you to do your part so ICUs don’t get overwhelmed.

Even small actions can make a huge difference – like wearing a mask or downloading – and using – COVID Alert.

Canada has now hit over six million downloads of the app – that’s great, so let’s keep going.

Of course, not everything you can do to help will be easy.

It won’t be easy when you say no to a friend who wants to get together, or when you cancel a vacation south.

But it’ll be worth it.

We can all make choices to protect the people around us.

We can all do our part to get through the pandemic.

I think of everyone in Quebec who is respecting the curfew the province has implemented.

I know that this requires sacrifices.

When you do your part, you are protecting your family and you are standing up for frontline workers.

To cope with the increased number of cases, several provinces still have difficult decisions to make, be it imposing local restrictions or announcing province-wide lockdowns.

Our government is here to support Quebec and all the governments that make difficult, but necessary decisions to ensure the safety of Canadians.

As we deal with this second wave, our government will continue to support the provinces and territories with rapid tests and the other tools needed to keep Canadians safe.

It is crucial that these tests be used throughout the country when necessary, whether in schools or in long-term care centres.

To stop the spread of COVID-19, more people must be able to take rapid tests.

Already we’ve sent over 14 million rapid test kits to the provinces and territories, with more on the way.

It’s by working together that we will get through this crisis.

This is the time to have each other’s backs, and to support the leadership communities need.

Today, I can announce the appointment of Eva Aariak as the new Commissioner of Nunavut.

Ms. Aariak has been a lifelong champion for the territory, as well as for Inuit languages and culture.

As Nunavut’s first woman premier, and as an advocate for everything from housing to food security, I know Ms. Aariak will continue doing great work in this new role.

This pandemic is a challenge like no other.

Now, more than ever, we need to be there for each other.

A little while ago, Najma and Karim from Toronto sent me a letter about what the last year had been like for them as small business owners and as parents.

Things have been tough, but they talked about how the wage subsidy helped keep their business open, and how the Canada Child Benefit made a huge difference for their family.

Well on Friday, I gave them a call to see how things are going.

They’re staying positive, but our conversation reminded me that when we look out for the people around us, there is no challenge we cannot overcome.

This will be a tough winter, but it will end.

Spring will come and summer will follow.

But until then, let’s have each other’s backs, because together, we can get through this.

Thank you.

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