BY BOB ZIMMER
Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP
“When will I be able to get the vaccine?”
I know that is THE question that has been on a lot of people’s minds as we pass the one-year mark since the first case of COVID-19 was detected in Canada.
Canadians have been patient and resilient throughout the course of the pandemic, but I know that for many, patience is running out.
The lockdowns and restrictions that were put in place early in the pandemic were supposed to buy governments time to get permanent solutions like vaccines, rapid testing, variant testing capacity, and therapeutics – these tools now exist. The problem is, the Prime Minister hasn’t succeeded in bringing them to widespread use in Canada.
Instead, Canada’s daily vaccination rate is the lowest in the G7 and panic and confusion continues to surround the Liberals’ new hastily conceived travel restrictions.
Recently, the Liberals announced that Novavax will produce its COVID-19 vaccine at a still-under-construction facility in Montreal. While the Prime Minister initially said that the facility could be ready to produce shots by as “early as this summer”, Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne later clarified that the earliest possible production start date is likely “at the end of this year”.
This means we will have zero vaccines manufactured in Canada before the Liberals’ self-imposed September deadline to have enough vaccines for every Canadian who wants one. Instead, for the rest of 2021, Canada’s vaccine rollout will be completely at the whims of foreign countries and companies.
Unfortunately, it seems like every day there is news of cancelled deliveries or delays on shipments.
We need the government to succeed in securing vaccines for the sake of all Canadians – but the prime minister continues to let us down. We cannot secure jobs, we cannot secure our economy, we cannot secure the future until any Canadian who wants to get vaccinated can.
By now, Canadians should know when things are going to get better. Instead, the Liberals keep asking Canadians to sacrifice more without being clear about when restrictions can be eased.
You deserve better than this.
That is why my Conservative colleagues and I will continue to call on the Liberals to give Canadians a clear plan and the information they deserve.