Ottawa, ON – Cheryl Gallant, Member of Parliament for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, rose during debate in the House of Commons to draw attention to the failure by the Liberals to offer vaccines to Canadian Armed Forces members being deployed overseas.
“Since the start of the COVID pandemic, almost 1,300 members of Canada’s armed forces have contracted the virus,” remarked MP Gallant during her speech.
The Trudeau Liberals’ initial decision to sole-source vaccines from a single Chinese controlled company, and cover-up the truth about the failed deal for months, meant Canada was at the back of the line in purchasing safe and effective Western made vaccines. Once vaccines began to trickle into Canada, the federal government prioritized vaccinating long-serving prisoners, like murderers and rapists, over vaccinating soldiers being sent on missions.
“Many, if not most, of the countries where Canadian soldiers are deployed will try to obtain doses of a COVID-19 vaccine from COVAX,” said MP Gallant. “The subsequent order from the Prime Minister to scavenge a vaccine from the country where the soldiers are being sent is beyond outrageous. “
COVAX is the global vaccine-sharing initiative jointly coordinated by the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance. Without COVAX, many of the world’s poorest countries would have no vaccines at all. If the world is expected to get a handle on COVID, it will depend on a global effort to vaccinate as many willing citizens as possible. The Trudeau Liberals announced in January they would take vaccines from COVAX.
During debate, Parliamentary Secretary for National Defence, MP Anita Vandenbeld claimed the figure cited by MP Gallant, of almost 1300 serving members infected, was “nowhere near accurate” and “much lower”. According to figures provided by the Department of National Defence, and posted online, as of April 5th, 1271 members of the Canadian Forces have tested positive for the coronavirus. Vandenbeld would go on to admit that since January 29th, when MP Gallant first asked if soldiers being deployed to Latvia would be offered vaccines, members deployed on Operation Reassurance in Latvia had tested positive for COVID-19. Vandenbeld then claimed, “For operational security reasons, specific numbers of affected members will not be released.”
Watch online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMyibjQJf_A