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View Patty Hajdu Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much, MP Powlowski.
The $500 million for provinces and territories that can be rapidly accessed is a big part of today's announcement. This isn't going to be an apply and wait for the results of your application. This is about a rapid cash infusion into provinces and territories so that they can have what they need immediately.
We're also working on a joint procurement of ventilators with provinces and territories, and we'll have more to say about that as that unfolds. I know my colleague Mr. Jeneroux mentioned the letter from the Prime Minister to the premiers, but I've been communicating with the ministers of health for a very long time. They have been indicating to us, on an evolving basis, what they might need.
Of course, we are prepared to do more. If there is an additional need for more supports and more measures we will do that. Of course, it will be up to the provinces and territories to tell us exactly what those measures are. We have a federal jurisdictional responsibility to ensure provinces and territories have what they need, but they also have to determine for themselves how they will deal with any surge.
Again, I think it's a good time to remind everyone that what we're hoping to do together collectively as a Canadian society is to flatten the curve and to make sure that we don't see a surge of activity. Having said that, should we see that surge, this is the primary importance of today's announcement.
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