Update on COVID-19 vaccines

At the beginning of February, our government announced that we have negotiated an accelerated delivery schedule for Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine and will receive all 40 million of its secured doses by the end of September. This means that Canada will receive 2.8 million additional doses of Pfizer between April and June, and an additional 6.2 million doses between July and September.

The Government of Canada has also purchased an additional 4 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, bringing the total number of secured doses to 44 million. The additional 4 million doses are expected to arrive by the end of September. Canada is now expected to receive 84 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines by the end of September.

National Standards for Long-Term Care

Without significant structural reforms capable of addressing the inherent failures within Canada’s long-term care sector, we will not cure the ongoing crises within these facilities. Provinces and territories need to work together with the federal government to establish national standards of care. There is no reason why long-term care residents in B.C. are held to a different standard of care than those living in Ontario.

The startling rise of legislation designed to create a culture of impunity and inhibit justice from the families of victims is shameful. This abuse of power must not continue. To better protect our seniors, our government is looking at amendments to Canada’s Criminal Code that explicitly penalize those who neglect seniors under their care and willingly put them in danger.

It has become increasingly clear that government-led commissions, like those in Ontario, are incapable of producing a sufficiently thorough investigation into this crisis. All inquiries into the state of long-term care must be public, independent, and led by panels that include residents, staff and families of survivors.

When the pandemic is over, the women and men in long-term care will remain in these facilities. As legislators, it is incumbent upon us to significantly elevate the existing standards of care across the country. When our crisis is over, their crisis will continue unless we act now.

Border Quarantine Measures

Our office has received many inquiries regarding the timelines around the new hotel quarantine procedures that will be implemented by the federal government.

For travellers arriving in Canada by land, as of February 15, all travellers, with some exceptions, will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken in the U.S. within 72 hours of pre-arrival, or a positive test taken 14 to 90 days prior to arrival. In addition, as of February 22, travellers entering Canada at the land border will be required to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival as well as toward the end of their 14-day quarantine.

All travellers arriving in Canada by air, as of February 22, with some exceptions, will be required to take a COVID-19 molecular test when they arrive in Canada before exiting the airport, and another toward the end of their 14-day quarantine period. With limited exceptions, air travellers will also be required to reserve, prior to departure to Canada, a three-night stay in a government-authorized hotel. Travellers will be able to book their stay starting February 18. These new measures are in addition to existing mandatory pre-boarding and health requirements for air travellers.

Finally, as of February 22, all travellers will be required to submit their travel and contact information, including a suitable quarantine plan electronically via ArriveCAN before crossing the border or boarding a flight. For more information on these measures, visit Canada.ca/coronavirus.

If my team can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at 416-283-1414 or gary.anand@parl.gc.ca.