GARRISON: We must redouble our efforts in battle against COVID-19

NDP has fought hard for improvements to Ottawa’s support initiatives

Randall Garrison

Randall Garrison

Randall Garrison | Contributed

As 2020 comes to a close, we have reason to hope that the COVID-19 pandemic will begin to improve with the rollout of some initial doses of vaccine. Still, in the meantime, we must redouble our efforts to reduce transmission and follow public health guidelines to keep ourselves, our loved ones, frontline workers, and the most vulnerable safe from COVID-19.

We must not let down our guard this close to the finish line, and I encourage you all to be safe and stop the spread of COVID-19 by following all public health orders and guidelines.

I write this hours after the first British Columbian was vaccinated for COVID-19 on Dec. 15. This resulted from the incredible labour and dedication of researchers and scientists who have put in outstanding work to ensure that a safe and effective vaccine could reach the public in record time.

As frontline workers are first to be vaccinated, this is also an opportunity to reflect on their sacrifices and redouble our commitment to ensuring that they have the wages and support they deserve to do the important work they do in our communities.

This year, along with Jagmeet Singh and the NDP team, I am proud to have fought hard for significant improvements to federal government initiatives providing vital support during this pandemic. The NDP was successful in obtaining the following for Canadians since March:

• CERB at $2,000 instead of a $1,000 EI benefit

• Increases to OAS and GIS

• Two weeks paid sick leave

• Canada Emergency Student Benefit

• 75 per cent wage subsidy

• $2 billion for schools and daycare centres

• Interest relief on student loans

The pandemic is far from over, and the NDP is continuing to work hard to ensure that ordinary Canadians can come out on the other side of this in one piece.

We are pushing for a wealth tax and pandemic profits tax. We believe it is unconscionable that the wealthiest and large corporations have turned unprecedented profits while far too many Canadians have lost their livelihoods and continue to struggle.

The NDP knows how important Pharmacare is, especially as many Canadians have now lost the stable employment they relied on for extended health coverage. We are pressing the Liberal government to bring in a comprehensive, universal, national Pharmacare program.

To ensure that no one is left behind while we recover from this pandemic and the economic fallout, the NDP is also proposing the first steps towards a guaranteed livable income by creating a new national income support program that would lift all people with disabilities out of poverty. We will continue to fight for those Canadians who have been forgotten – including Canadians with disabilities, seniors, students and far too many others.

It is an honour to serve the people of Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke, and I extend my gratitude to you all for the dedication, solidarity, and resilience that you have shown in the face of incredible challenges. I will continue to be inspired by this spirit as I work hard to advocate for the improvements and legislation that Canadians need in 2021.

•••

Randall Garrison is the Member of Parliament for Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke.

ALSO READ: No funds for provinces that don’t agree to improve long-term care standards, PM hints

ALSO READ: Worked from home this year? CRA allowing employees to claim up to $400 tax deduction



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Federal Politics

Just Posted

Victoria Truth Centre and Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society are hoping to replicate in Langford the format used on Emma’s Farm in Mission, pictured here. (Patrick Penner/Black Press Media)
Victoria Truth Centre hopes to grow transformative justice in Langford

Purchase proposal would see offenders, survivors and families work on organic vegetable farm

Kidspace, which took over the YMCA-YWCA childcare centre at Eagle Creek Village, plans to reopen the Y’s fitness centre as the Eagle Creek Athletic Club in September. (Photo courtesy of Kidpsace)
Former Y fitness centre in View Royal aims to reopen in September

Kidspace taking over both the gym and the childcare facility at Eagle Creek Village

Cheyenne, six, Savannah, three, and Jeremiah Sinclair, 8, were out on walk with their mother on June 4 when they discovered the first of several hundred fish that died after bleach leaked into Reay Creek. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Spill in Sidney’s Reay Creek turns into ecological lesson for local children

Federal-provincial investigation ongoing into what appears to be a bleach spill

Saanich Volunteer Services Society volunteers head out to deliver this week’s meals to local seniors. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
VIDEO: Weekly meal deliveries help brighten the day for Saanich seniors

Seniors are delivered nutritional meals by a group of volunteers every Wednesday

The stretch of trail north of Royal Bay Secondary connecting to Painters Trail at Murray’s Pond will be closed temporarily this week for invasive species removal. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood trail behind Royal Bay Secondary temporarily closed for invasive species removal

Cloure in effect from 9 a.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Friday this week

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Most Read