Additional support for Ontario to fight the COVID-19 outbreak

Since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada has been working to do whatever it takes – for as long as it takes – to protect and support Canadians. As the number of new cases in Ontario continues to escalate to unprecedented levels due to variants of concern, we are working with the Province to protect the health and safety of Ontarians and support the capacity of our health care system.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the federal government is working to provide additional, emergency support to fight the COVID-19 outbreak in Ontario.

This includes:

  • Sending federal health care staff and equipment to the front lines in Ontario to care for people across the province, particularly in areas that are most impacted.
  • Boosting rapid testing to help stop the spread of the virus, and working with municipalities and businesses to deploy them to hot spots across Ontario, support contact tracing and isolation, and make workplaces safer.
  • Investing $84.2 million to support voluntary safe isolation sites, including across Ontario. These sites have already helped 3,900 Ontarians isolate safely to prevent the spread of the virus.
  • Signing a bilateral agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario to enhance virtual health services in the province. This agreement comes with $46 million in funding to expand Ontario’s efforts on virtual health care during the pandemic.
  • Providing an additional supply of tocilizumab and other needed drugs for Ontario through reallocation from other provinces and territories. Tocilizumab is used to treat severe pneumonia in COVID-19 patients.

These measures build on yesterday’s announcement that the federal government is providing a two-month extension on two Mobile Health Units (MHU), until June 30. These MHU were approved in January and are currently deployed in Toronto and Hamilton. The federal government also stands ready to deploy the Canadian Red Cross to help the province with its mobile vaccination teams, and the Canadian Armed Forces is working with partners to determine what additional support they can provide to Ontario.

The Government of Canada is also working closely with provinces and territories to facilitate extra support for Ontario, including sending medical supplies and health care workers, and has offered to cover the costs.

Eight of every ten dollars spent in Canada to respond to the pandemic have come from the federal government. This has included support through the purchase of vaccines, personal protective equipment, rapid testing, contact tracing, and funding to help make schools safer for students and teachers. We will continue to provide the provinces and territories support and take a Team Canada approach to beating this virus, so we can keep all Canadians safe and healthy.

Justin Trudeau