Minister assures Brampton Mayor: ‘Canada is responding to India’s COVID-19 situation’

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Published July 7, 2021 at 2:05 pm

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Back in May, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown sent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a letter detailing his concerns over India’s massive second wave of COVID-19 cases, asking if Canada would be stepping up with assistance.

The federal response may have taken a while to get back but Karena Gould, federal Minister of International Development, assured Brown that not only was Canada monitoring the India dilemma but was already actively assisting the India government.

In correspondence dated June 23 but inserted into today’s (July 7) council agenda, Gould outlined some of the steps the federal government had already undertaken and was currently involved with for the India situation.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, Canada and India have closely cooperated to ensure mutual access to essential medical supplies and vaccines,” Gould wrote.

She added that, “On April 27, 2021, Canada provided $10 million in funding for humanitarian assistance to the Canadian Red Cross Society, which is supporting the Indian Red Cross Society’s procurement of essential supplies and medicines.”

But she hastened it wasn’t just financial support. Canada was getting the actual goods to the country.

“Between May 5 and 13, 2021, Canada delivered 25,000 vials of the antiviral medicine Remdesivir and 350 ventilators from Canada’s National Emergency Strategic Stockpile through Canadian Armed Forces airlift support.”

She added that not only is Canada supporting India’s pandemic response but has been trying to help all nations since the pandemic’s beginnings.

“Since February 11, 2020, the Government of Canada has committed more than $2 billion to the global response to COVID-19. Canada has also made an additional $1 billion available for International Monetary Fund loans related to COVID-19.”

Finally, she assured Brown that Canada would continue to stay on top of the overseas situation. “Rest assured that Canada will continue to closely monitor the public health situation in India and will cooperate closely with India in terms of addressing any future needs.”

(Justin Trudeau and Patrick Brown photos courtesy of CP)

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