Heather McPherson, NDP International Development Critic, issued the following statement:
“Justin Trudeau’s Liberals just announced that they will donate 17.7 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to least developed countries.
This is shameful. Justin Trudeau announced at the G7 that he would donate 100 million doses to the countries that need them most. We are still a long way from that. And we still don’t have a timeline. If people are only getting vaccinated years from now, this pandemic will continue for years.
Once again, Justin Trudeau has demonstrated that he prefers empty words to concrete actions. How can he claim that “Canada is back” when he is unable to do more for the most vulnerable populations in these times of crisis?
To make matters worse, Justin Trudeau still has not agreed to waive patent rights to help get more vaccines to people around the world. He’s choosing to protect the profits of pharmaceutical companies making billions of dollars while variants develop around the world. This doesn’t make sense on a public health front or an economic front: the longer people wait for vaccines, the longer the recovery will take.
Around the world, COVID-19 variants have devastating effects and the vast majority of the world population has yet to be vaccinated.
Justin Trudeau’s refusal to contribute more to the global vaccine effort is cowardly and only contributes to prolonging the pandemic, as new and more contagious variants may have time to develop, putting us all at risk.
We are in a crisis. Justin Trudeau must act on his promises and be more compassionate.
The NDP will continue to fight for the Liberals to do more to fight COVID-19.
Canadians expect so much more from their government”.