More than a year into the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada continues to do whatever it takes to help stop the spread of the virus and its variants. Together with the provinces and territories, we are working to keep people safe, healthy, and supported during this crisis.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced the final instalment of the over $19 billion Safe Restart Agreement, to help provinces and territories safely restart the economy, and provide continued support to Canadians.
Since the Agreement was reached last summer, this federal funding has been used to support the capacity of our health care systems, secure personal protective equipment for essential workers, and protect the most vulnerable in our communities. This funding has also supported safe and affordable child care, and assisted in the operating needs of municipalities and public transit.
In British Columbia, the Safe Restart Agreement has helped enhance data management and analytics capabilities to model the potential spread of COVID-19. In Alberta, it has helped to provide support for continuing care and seniors’ facilities, including more staff and cleaning supplies. In Nova Scotia, it supported the province’s testing strategy, including enhancing its mobile testing capacity to reach and support rural communities.
Testing, screening, and contact tracing play a critical role in helping to fight the pandemic and curb transmission, particularly in shared spaces such as workplaces, long-term care homes, and shelters. In February, we exceeded the goal of having the capacity to undertake 200,000 COVID-19 tests per day across the country, which was a key objective of the Safe Restart Agreement. The final instalment of $700 million will help provinces and territories to further increase their testing capacity and support Canadians through this crisis.
Eight of every ten dollars spent in Canada to respond to the pandemic have come from the federal government, and we will continue to do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to ensure Canadians are safe and supported. Together, we will continue to build on the Team Canada approach to fight and beat this virus, and build back better for all Canadians.