Procurement Minister Anita Anand isn’t ruling out any options that could help Canada curb its third wave of COVID-19, including invoking the Canada Emergencies Act.
When asked about whether Canada would be considering the Act on Sunday, she told The West Block’s Mercedes Stephenson federal cabinet would reconvene over the weekend and again early next week to “consider all options.”
The Canada Emergencies Act would give the federal government the power to issue executive orders and reallocate public funds quickly following a Parliamentary review.
Canada stopped short of declaring a federal emergency during the first wave last year, but plenty of provinces have already declared public health emergencies and invoked emergency measures.
Anand said the federal government is working to help provinces and territories “in every way we can.” She said the federal government has procured multiple mobile health units for COVID-19 hotspots Toronto and Hamilton, one of which is set up at the Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto.
“That is something that we can do from the federal government perspective, is to provide these these hospitals, in essence, to help to deal with capacity issues,” she said.
Anand dodged questions on whether the federal government had failed in its vaccine rollout, saying more than 12.7 million vaccine doses had been delivered to Canada. She noted that the country ranked second out of all G20 countries for the rate of vaccinations and reiterated that Canada was doing well for a country with no domestic production.
She also stressed the importance of following public health guidelines, insisting that vaccines are just one part of ridding the country of COVID-19.