Federal government delivers $5 billion in pandemic support to provinces and territories for vaccines and health care

From: Department of Finance Canada

Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, announced the payment of $5 billion to the provinces and territories, distributed equally per capita, to further support vaccination campaigns and ensure our health care systems remain resilient and responsive to Canadians’ needs.

As first announced on March 25, 2021, the Government of Canada is providing $4 billion through a one-time top-up to the Canada Health Transfer to help address the extreme pressures that COVID-19 has put on our health care systems. This funding will help provinces and territories address immediate health system pressures, including clearing the backlog of medical procedures, patient care, and access to primary care, put on hold due to the pandemic.

In addition, the Government of Canada is providing $1 billion to support vaccine rollout campaigns across the country and helping Canadians receive their first and second doses as quickly as possible. The funding supports a variety of vaccine-related costs, such as recruiting and training immunizers, establishing mass vaccination clinics, setting up mobile vaccination units, engaging Indigenous communities to advance vaccine rollout, and reaching vulnerable populations through community-based vaccination efforts.

Please consult the backgrounder for the full breakdown of how this funding is being disbursed to each province and territory.

Quotes

“Fighting the COVID-19 pandemic has been a Team Canada effort. We said we would do whatever it takes to support Canadians and today we are delivering needed funding to address the ongoing strains on our health care systems and support the vaccine rollout across the country. This investment in all provinces and territories will help us finish the fight against COVID-19 and ensure that Canadians are able to receive the care they need and deserve as we move forward to the brighter days ahead.”

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted why we need to invest in our health care system. Every step of the way, we’ve worked to protect Canadians, so that when they need support, it’s there for them. This top-up to the Canada Health Transfer will support provinces and territories in their duties to deliver care for Canadians through this pandemic and beyond.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health

Quick facts

  • To date, more than eight out of every ten dollars to fight the pandemic has been provided by the federal government. Today’s announcement builds on the substantial investments made to support provinces and territories throughout the pandemic, including:

    • Approximately $19.9 billion in direct payments to provinces and territories and in-kind support through the Safe Restart Agreement:
      • $4.3 billion to support with the costs of increasing testing capacity, contact tracing, and collecting and sharing public health data that will help fight the pandemic;
      • $1.2 billion to support health care system capacity to respond to surges in COVID-19 cases and to support and protect people experiencing challenges related to mental health, substance use, or homelessness;
      • $740 million to address immediate needs and gaps in supportive care and provide health and social supports for other vulnerable groups;
      • $2 billion to support municipalities with COVID-19 operating costs;
      • $2.4 billion to ensure critical transit services are maintained;
      • $7.5 billion to ensure health and non-health workers have access to the personal protective equipment that they need;
      • $625 million to address the reduced availability of child care spaces and the unique needs stemming from the pandemic; and
      • $1.1 billion in funding towards the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit.
      • $2 billion through the Safe Return to Class Fund.
      • Doubling transfers through the Canada Community-Building Fund (formerly known as the Gas Tax Fund) in 2020-21, providing an additional $2.2 billion to support infrastructure priorities in municipalities and First Nations communities.
      • $2.9 billion through the Essential Workers Support Fund.
      • $500 million health transfer to provinces and territories for critical health care system needs.
  • In addition to major investments made to support provinces and territories in the fight against COVID-19, the Government of Canada is providing $83.9 billion in major transfers to the provinces and territories in 2021-22, including:

    • $43.1 billion through the Canada Health Transfer;
    • $20.9 billion through Equalization;
    • $15.5 billion through the Canada Social Transfer; and
    • $4.4 billion through Territorial Formula Financing.

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