Today, the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, held her seventh biweekly teleconference with provincial and territorial Finance Ministers, and the first in 2021.
Deputy Prime Minister began the call by highlighting the importance of a strong working relationship between the federal, provincial, and territorial governments and all involved reaffirmed their commitment to supporting a strong democracy here in Canada.
Finance Ministers discussed the actions they are taking to slow down the transmission of COVID-19. The Deputy Prime Minister reaffirmed the federal government’s commitment to fighting COVID-19, protecting those in long-term care, and ensuring provinces and territories have the support they need to take necessary actions in their own jurisdictions.
To date, the government has delivered nearly half a million doses of the approved COVID-19 vaccines to provinces and territories and is covering the cost of vaccines and supplies needed to administer them. The federal government is making the vaccine available to Canadians free of charge and by September, Canada will have enough doses to administer to every Canadian who wants to be vaccinated.
The Deputy Prime Minister discussed key measures that the federal government has taken to protect Canadians’ health and safety, including procuring personal protective equipment and rapid tests, and ensuring that, starting yesterday, travellers have had a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before boarding their flight to Canada—in addition, to the ongoing mandatory 2 week quarantine once they arrive.
In addition, the Deputy Prime Minister restated the government’s support for workers and businesses, such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Business Account, the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, and the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support programs have helped hundreds of thousands of businesses, charities, and non-profits pay their bills and keep their workers on the payroll.
All Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to a unified and collaborative response to the COVID-19 pandemic.