Greens Call for Emergency Debate on COVID-19 Variants

February 01, 2021

OTTAWA — The Green Party of Canada is calling for an emergency debate on the government response to the emergence in Canada of the newly identified COVID-19 variants. Medical reports from around the world point to the COVID-19 variants, primarily identified from the UK (known as B.1.1.7) from South Africa (known as B.1.351) and from Brazil and Japan (known as P.1), as being significantly more transmissible.

“The Green Party has consistently called for a national strategy and taskforce on COVID-19 to coordinate a unified national response, and now, with the spread of these new variants threatening to explode exponentially, it is crucial that we convene to address this,” said Green Party Leader Annamie Paul. “The urgency of the situation cannot be overstated. Given recent roadblocks in vaccination rollouts we need to be even more vigilant in our response. We must do all we can to prevent more deaths from this deadly virus and ensure that our healthcare systems are not overwhelmed.”

Green MPs are concerned that there have been moves to ease restrictions precisely at a time when federal health officials have recommended that we maintain, or even increase, such measures in response to these new variants.

On January 31, 2021 Green MP Paul Manly (Nanaimo-Ladysmith) wrote to the Honourable Anthony Rota, Speaker of the House requesting an emergency debate on this issue and today, following Routine Proceedings will make this request in person.

“Canada should be able to identify jurisdictions that have had the greatest success, and use such examples to inform winning, coordinated strategies across the country,” said Manly. “We believe there is an urgent need to debate whether now is the time to shift gears from ‘bending a curve’ to ‘going to zero’ cases – or as close to zero as possible.”

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For more information:

Rosie Emery

Press Secretary


[email protected]