Today, on the first National Day of Observance for COVID-19, we honour those who lost their life to this disease, and declare our unwavering support to the parents, neighbours, friends and colleagues they left behind.

Together, as Team Canada, we also honour the healthcare and essential workers working on the frontlines to keep Canadians safe and healthy, and we recognize those who made sacrifices during this difficult time, including children who have missed birthdays, grandparents who haven’t hugged their grandchildren in over a year, and everyone who has struggled with their mental health as a result of this crisis.

The pandemic is also having a profound impact on businesses across Canada, and we stand with the workers, business owner and families who have lost their jobs or been hit particularly hard by COVID-19. When this crisis began, we took quick action to help Canadians put food on the table and employers keep their workers on the payroll with a broad range of measures, including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. We will continue to use every tool in our toolbox to help Canadians get through this crisis as long as it lasts.

The largest immunization campaign in Canada’s history is also well underway, and we are on track to have a vaccine available for every Canadian who wants one, by September. Until that time, we must all keep doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. This means following local public health orders, avoiding all non-essential travel, washing our hands often and using the COVID Alert application. Together, we will beat COVID-19 and come out of this pandemic more resilient than ever before.