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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police arrest youth after kitchen knife call

A knife was recovered during the arrest, no injuries reported

Marc Porpaczy said he’s glad he delayed his daily walk with his dog, Juno, after a car crashed just outside his driveway just before 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 25. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Dramatic crash highlights need for sidewalks, say Colwood residents

‘The residents have gone from frustrated to angry’

(Black Press Media file photo)
VicPD arrest man at gunpoint after firearm call

Man faces charges for breaching condition not to possess replica firearms

Port Renfrew Fire Chief Dan Kuzman, left, and Juan de Fuca Electoral Area Director Mike Hicks, separated by two fishing rods for safe pandemic physical distancing, display the village’s new snowplowing unit. (Contributed)
Port Renfrew gets new snowplow

With equipment, CRD crew can clear roads following snowfall

Sooke’s Amy McLaughlin holds Theodore, a bunny who will be going to a new owner in Nanaimo within the coming days if all goes will at an upcoming bunny play-date. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Sooke woman looking to hop into bigger space for bunny business

Amy McLaughlin has rescued over 400 bunnies across the Island, mainland

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant, 31, is wanted by the RCMP after failing to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo in December. Police warn Savidant should be considered violent. (Photo Submitted)
Warrant out for man accused of stolen property offences across Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant did not appear for court date in Nanaimo last month, say RCMP

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

OPINION SIG
SOOKE HISTORY: Milne’s Landing CNR station

Elide Peers | Contributed Back in the 1920s, freight was often carried… Continue reading

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Local musician and artist Daisy Melville created a watercolour portrait of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from the recent American inauguration, and with help from her mom, is now selling t-shirts and more with funds going to the Comox Valley Food Bank. Image submitted
Island artist turns Sanders inauguration meme into art for good

All proceeds from the sale of shirts, sweaters and more will go to the Comox Valley Food Bank

Most Read