In today’s Speech from the Throne, delivered in Ottawa by Governor General Julie Payette, the Government of Canada shared a vision that upholds Canada’s long, proud leadership towards ensuring a just healthy world as part of Canada’s COVID-19 response.
In outlining its agenda for the forthcoming second session of the 43rd Parliament in today’s speech, the Government indicated that it “will invest more in international development while supporting developing countries on their economic recoveries and resilience. Canada will also support work to ensure that people around the world have access to a vaccine. We cannot eliminate this pandemic in Canada unless we end it everywhere.“
It was noted in the Speech that “COVID-19 has accelerated the existing trends toward a more fragmented global order. It remains in Canada’s interest to create and maintain bilateral and multilateral relationships to advance peace and economic prosperity.”
This reflects calls by the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH) for Canada to invest in the fight against COVID-19 among the world’s most disadvantaged populations. Any gains made in the Canadian domestic pandemic response will be at risk unless Canada responds to COVID-19 elsewhere as it destabilizes health care systems, blocks access to essential health services and gives rise to the spread of other viruses and disease among vulnerable populations.
COVID-19 threatens to erode the gains realized by Canadian organizations that have worked tirelessly for the past decade to advance the health and rights of the world’s most vulnerable, particularly women and girls. Since 2010, and across successive governments, Canadian investments through the Muskoka initiative for maternal, newborn and child health, and through sexual and reproductive health and rights programming have directly impacted over 156 million people, built or enhanced more than 4,000 health facilities, and trained nearly 100,000 health service providers.
While full details of the Government’s plans and investments are yet to be released, CanWaCH will continue to work closely with the Government of Canada and all parliamentarians to maintain and strengthen Canada’s leadership in advancing the health and rights of women and girls, everywhere.