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WATCH: Trudeau announces March 11 as a national day of observance for Canadian lives lost to COVID-19

'Our top priority is to get you your shot as soon as possible'

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has declared March 11 a National Day of Observance for COVID-19. Although he put out a statement to that effect yesterday, he reiterated the the declaration during today’s press conference.

“We all have a role to play in ending this pandemic, and the crisis is not over yet. In recognition of how far we have come and how far we still have to go, the Government of Canada is designating March 11, 2021, as a National Day of Observance,” he said in the statement. “On this day, I invite all Canadians to join together in honouring the memory of those we have lost, and the people they left behind. We will also recognize everyone who has been impacted by COVID-19, and pay tribute to all those who continue to work hard and make incredible sacrifices in our fight against the virus. Together, we will beat COVID-19.”

Trudeau also highlighted that the four COVID-19 vaccines approved for use by Health Canada is more than any other country. He also highlighted that Canada will be receiving eight million doses of vaccines by the end of this month.

“Our top priority is to get you your shot as soon as possible,” the prime minister said today.

He also took the opportunity to highlight two announcements made yesterday. One of those announcements, in honour of International Women’s Day, was the creation of a task force on women and the economy, an effort to make the workplace and economic participation more egalitarian.

Trudeau also reiterated a housing announcement made in B.C. regarding the Canada Housing Benefit, which provides rental support of up to $400 a month for those who qualify.

Also on hand for today’s press briefing was Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, the deputy chief public health officer of Canada. Both provided the same statement, basically, with Tam speaking in English and Njoo in French.

They noted that this week marks the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization declaration of a global pandemic.

Canada has seen more than 800,000 infections in the past year and more than 22,000 deaths. This week, both doctors said the country had seen more than 2,000 cases and more than 30 deaths every day this week.

“This is a time of solemn remembrance for all those we have lost,” the doctors said.

They ended the statement with a public health statement, which they commonly do.

Canadians should be having “the fewest number of interactions with the fewest number of people for the shortest time from the greatest distance possible, wearing the best fitting mask.