As we near March 12, the one-year anniversary of the first confirmed case in Manitoba, my thoughts are with the families of the over 800 Manitobans who have died of COVID-19.
I am also thinking of those in our community who are struggling with the loss of a loved one during this pandemic from other causes, as the pandemic has affected how we are able to gather and comfort one another over the past year - it has not been easy.
Last week, Manitoba reached a welcome milestone - all residents of licensed personal care homes who wished to be vaccinated for COVID-19 have received their first doses of the vaccine. The vaccination effort is a complex undertaking and I want to thank our front-line health-care workers and support staff in personal care homes who are caring for our elderly during the pandemic.
Vaccines are an important tool to help us get back to normal and protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19.
I have heard from many of you who are increasingly frustrated by the delays in vaccine delivery and by the continued restrictions. Originally, lockdowns and restrictions were put in place to provide governments time to get permanent solutions in place, such as vaccines, rapid testing, variant testing capacity and therapeutics.
A year into this pandemic, the federal Liberal government should be providing clarity and hope to Canadians as to when and how we will return to normal. For example, what percentage of Canada’s population must be vaccinated before we open up? Canadians deserve these answers.
Further, Canada has seen dramatic reductions in vaccine shipments, while countries such as France, the U.S. and the U.K. have not. Every day without more vaccines is a day of more restrictions, uncertainty, and deaths from COVID-19.
While it is welcome news that Canada will finally be moving forward on making vaccines domestically, it is clear that the Liberal government was late in ramping up Canada’s domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity.
Canada’s Conservatives want our government to succeed in getting COVID-19 vaccines to all Canadians that want one.
We cannot secure jobs, our economy, or our future until this happens. We are calling on the Liberals to give Canadians a clear plan and the information they deserve. I will continue to press for clarity on these important issues.
Kildonan-St. Paul constituency report
Raquel Dancho is the Conservative MP for Kildonan-St. Paul.