Love My Neighbor - Letter to Prime Minister

SENT VIA EMAIL


The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Office of the Prime Minister


Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,


Love My Neighbour (LMN) is a Canadian grassroots project founded by Millennium Kids and

diverse faith communities to increase the number of COVID-19 vaccines distributed quickly and equitably in lower income countries. LMN has brought together Canadians of diverse faiths from across the country, united in our desire to see all people regardless of nationality, enjoy equitable access to life-saving COVID-19 vaccines. We encourage the Canadian government to join us in care for our neighbours through working for increased access to vaccines globally.


We recognize the efforts of the government to ensure fair and equitable access to vaccines for priority populations in Canada, as well as international financial support for COVAX. We also believe that Canada can play a greater leadership role to ensure vaccine equity, especially when it comes to prioritizing vaccine access for essential workers and the most vulnerable, around the world and here in Canada.


Canada has currently purchased enough vaccines to vaccinate Canada’s population many times over. Vaccine inequality will only prolong the global pandemic.


We urge the creation and rapid implementation of a re-distribution and donation plan of

Canada’s purchased and committed vaccine doses, including doses purchased from

COVAX, to COVAX. Following the example of countries like Norway, we urge an immediate

minimum 5% donation of Canada’s vaccines to COVAX. The global response to the COVID-19

pandemic must be timely and equitable if it is to be successful.


We also encourage Canadian support for the temporary Trade-Related Aspects of

Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver, presented to the World Trade Organization.

This waiver will ensure that trade regulations and licensing do not impede the timely

manufacture, distribution, and affordability of vaccines. Canada has maintained that it has not

rejected this proposal, and it is studying the impacts of intellectual property regulations on

vaccine manufacturing. While we affirm the importance of careful deliberation, we also urge a

rapid response. Without the TRIPS waiver, many low- and middle-income countries may not

have access to anywhere near sufficient vaccines before 2023, to say nothing of testing or

medications for supportive care.


We also encourage Canada to continue to support global health systems strengthening

through an increased Official Development Assistance budget, with funding specially

designated for community-based health organizations, including those run by women.


Canada can lead the way in ensuring fair access, distribution and administration of the vaccine around the world. We would like to request a meeting with you or your designate to discuss how we can work together towards achieving the goals outlined in this letter, including the development of a matching fund for any donations made towards the purchase of global vaccines, global vaccine delivery and health support systems.


Signed:


Anglican Church of Canada

Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples

Canadian Baptist Ministries

Canadian Council of Imams

Canadian Multi-faith Federation

Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative

Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada

Congrégation de Notre-Dame

Human Concern International

International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF)

Intriciti

Islamic Relief Canada

KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

La fondation Anne Sophie Musique

Mennonite Central Committee

Millennium Kids

National Muslim Christian Liaison Committee

Ontario Zoroastrian Community Foundation

The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada / Emergency Relief and Development Overseas

The Presbyterian Church in Canada

Primates Fund for World Relief and Development

Reform Jewish Community of Canada

Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations- Canada

The United Church of Canada

Cc:

Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Hon. Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Hon. Karina Gould, Minister of International Cooperation

Hon. Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade

Hon. Patty Hadju, Minister of Health

Hon. Hon. Marco E. L. Mendicino, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Hon. Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Hon. Erin O’Toole, Leader of the Official Opposition

Mr. Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the New Democratic Party

M. Yves-François Blanchet, Chef du Bloc Québécois

Ms. Annamie Paul, Leader, Green Party of Canada

Michael Chong, Official Opposition Critic for Foreign Affairs Conservative Party of Canada

Heather McPherson, New Democratic Party Critic for International Development

Jack Harris, Critic for Foreign Affairs New Democratic Party

Stephane Bergeron, Critic for Foreign Affairs Bloc Quebecois

Hon. Raquel Dancho, Official Opposition Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship,

Conservative Party of Canada

Christine Normandin, Bloc Critic for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship

Jenny Kwan, NPD Critic for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship

Tracy Gray, Official Opposition Critic, Export Promotion and Trade, Conservative Party of

Canada

Garnett Genuis, Official Opposition Critic, International Development and Human Rights,

Conservative Party of Canada

Stéphane Bergeron, Bloc Critic for Foreign Affairs

Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay, Bloc Critic for International Trade

Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe, Bloc Critic for Francophonie and International Cooperation

Daniel Blaikie, NDP Critic for Export Promotion and International Trade


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