At least three times in his news conference Friday Prime Minister Trudeau declared that Canada will indeed receive six million doses of COVID vaccine by the end of March. The PM said the government knew all along that there would be some “turbulence” in deliveries which is why the government has made so many vaccine deals with so many companies. Not only will the March deadline for the six million doses be met, said Trudeau, but he insisted Canada will be on track to have all Canadians vaccinated by the end of September. The PM made the comments amid growing concern that Canada is lagging other countries in receiving vaccine shipments and that the contracts the government has signed with producers are subject to uncertainty. In addition to production issues which have been blamed for the delay in Canada’s shipments from Pfizer; there is more recent concern that the EU could block shipments to non EU countries. Canada is not on a list of countries that have been exempted from the EU policy, although government officials insist they have been assured Canada will not be blocked from receiving vaccine.
The PM also sought to quell media reports that suggested Canada should not be getting more than one million doses that were announced through the COVAX program which is aimed at providing vaccine to poorer nations.
The PM also deflected suggestions from a reporter that his office had known all along about the allegations of inappropriate conduct towards a female officer by former Chief of Defense Staff Jonathan Vance. The GCBC is reporting that concerns about Vance were raised as far back as the Harper Government.