Dear GRAN Advocates,
We have cause to celebrate! And take a bow! Many of you responded to the recent call to take part in the campaign asking Canada to invest 1% of its COVID-19 spending on a global response. From those of you who have reported back, we know that more than 40 GRANs from across the country sent emails to your MPs, requested meetings to press home your points for more investment, and participated in the Twitter Storm on September 2nd – using the hashtag #EndCovidEverywhere. Thanks to your advocacy actions, major gains have been made.
Specifically, here is what the Canadian government has announced in the last few weeks:
- The Speech from the Throne committed to increases in international assistance;
- Canada invested $220M in COVAX AMC and has joined this important international mechanism to provide fair and equitable distribution of vaccines; and
- Canada invested $400M in humanitarian aid.
Together, these commitments amount to $620 M in new and additional international assistance dollars. When combined with the $300 M announced in June and the $159.5 M announced in April, the government has committed over a billion dollars to the global fight against COVID-19, $740 M of which is new and additional money to the international assistance envelope.
We want to thank the Prime Minister and Minister Gould for these announcements to date. We, as GRAN Co-Chairs, sent them an email of thanks last week. Will you join us? Their email addresses are: Justin.Trudeau@parl.gc.ca and email@example.com While you’re at it, why not cc your own Member of Parliament to reinforce your support for international assistance?
Of course, we want the Canadian government to do more and invest more, but this is a good start and we want to acknowledge it.
With such great results so far, and with a Federal Budget expected next spring, this campaign will continue. Watch for further actions you can take in the weeks and months ahead.
Janet Siddall and Pat Dolan