I want to thank my colleague for that, because I was going to land there soon. I'm glad that she helped point that out for all Canadians, because that's what team Canada is. You see how quickly she wanted to make sure that I didn't miss a step. She wanted to support me in my intervention and that's what it's about. She was coming to support us, because we're working together to achieve the same success, because Canada is a great country. Canadians are great people. We are proud of our country and we must continue to work together.
As my colleague noted earlier, yes, we'll finally be voting in a few hours. I hope all my colleagues and all parties can join with us in voting for Bill C‑14 because Canadians have neither the time nor the appetite for partisan politics or strategies, at any time. They want us to work together for the welfare of Canadian citizens.
I want to get back to seniors.
I have to say that isolation is particularly hard on seniors. It's hard on us too because we like to see our fathers, mothers and grandparents, but we're afraid to visit them because we know we're in the midst of a pandemic and don't want to increase the risk of infection. These are tough situations as well.
Yesterday one of my constituents called me to discuss the difficult situation he was facing. He told me he hadn't seen his niece for more than a year because she had health issues, being acutely sensitive to environmental factors in particular and perhaps COVID‑19. He lives 10 kilometers away from her. Situations like these are really trying for many Canadians.
As I said a little earlier, there are two tunnels.
The first tunnel concerns the health and safety of Canadians and the second the economy and support for individuals, families and entrepreneurs. We know that women have been the hardest hit economically; they have found the situation even harder, considering the greater and tougher challenges they've had to face. That's also the case of young people. We've doubled funding for student summer jobs. That will help a lot.
In my riding of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook alone,
we just about doubled student summer jobs. This is crucial. Students need to work. They need to make money to continue their studies, and we need to support them.
We need to support them. That is why our government doubled our funding. I'm so proud of the support. Last year we didn't know if we could even get those jobs going or if companies would be able to function, but they found their way.
We work together, as we must continue to do today and tomorrow. It's crucial that we do it.
Getting back to seniors, we had to invest in certain areas to support them. I have so many stories. Down in Preston, a group of young people got together and brought some groceries to families. We had Beacon food bank, the Red Cross and the United Way. These organizations play such an important role. If government had to pay them to do work, we wouldn't be able to afford it. They volunteer and do so much outreach.
Transportation for seniors is crucial. I spoke to a few seniors the other day. Some of them haven't been out for months. They are just waiting now. They are hopeful. They are feeling much better today than they were feeling a month ago because the vaccines are coming out.
Our government announced that we would have six million vaccines by March 31. I hate to say it, but some parties on the other side said, “That's not going to happen. It's not possible. There's so much need across the world that we'll never get six million.” My friends, we got well over eight million vaccines. It's 10 million this week, and I think we're at 12 million next week. We're ramping up, and it's because of all of you and your support.
I know the opposition has a role to play, and you've played that role. It's important to give us suggestions, and to give us your comments and your opinions, but at the end of the day, we must govern. We must make decisions as government, and those decisions are very important.
Going back to Bill C-14, we're going to see some help in it for Canadians, but my friends, more good news will be coming on Monday. Again, I don't have a crystal ball, but I know that we have been consulting with Canadians. We have been listening. We've been having those conversations, putting the time in that's so crucial to help Canadians, and now we will be able to deliver a budget that will continue to support Canadians.
If we had not prorogued Parliament, if we had not reset the agenda and refocused.... We've been doing that, to be quite honest with you, for a long time. Yes, we prorogued, but we're still working and focusing on where to put our priorities. That's what the fall economic statement allowed us to do, to start building that blueprint and start putting into action some key things that we've seeing through Bill C-14.
Monday will be an important day for Canadians as we continue to support all Canadians right across this country. You know the old saying, from Newfoundland to Vancouver, and then the territories of course. I can't believe I skipped Nova Scotia and Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, but it's all provinces, all Canadians.
You know, when we're Canadian, we have to make sure.... When it comes to long-term care, we learned through this pandemic that there are gaps. We need to build national standards together. I have to say, that's where we need you to share with us what standards are necessary, to make sure that we continue to support and protect seniors. It's crucial.
I'm Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs. Veterans are also struggling through this pandemic. It has been extremely difficult for them. It is our responsibility to care for, to support, to help and to work in partnership with our veterans community. I know that we work very hard to support organizations that support veterans across this country. It was very important to help those organizations stay afloat. I'm talking about the Legion, which is another organization that is so important.
I don't know if you know, but there are 1,382 Legions in this country. I'm sure that each and every one of you, if we took a poll right now, could tell me how many Legions you have in your riding. As I said earlier, I wasn't a math teacher—I've been in the profession of education for 30 years—but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that if there are 1,382 to 1,400 Legions across this country, and there are 338 members of Parliament from all sides, all parts of this country, on average, you have three Legions in your riding. I have five. Some may have two.
These Legions, these people volunteering in Legions are playing a major role in supporting our veterans and our communities every day. Legions were shut down. They couldn't raise money. The poppy fund was getting weaker and weaker as we moved about. We had no choice. It was simple. Government had to come to their support as quickly as possible. They're one organization.
There's VETS Canada. They reach right across this country, and they're supporting veterans on the ground every day. There's also True Patriot Love. There are so many great organizations out there, and we were able to get them some support, financial support. There was $20 million for all those organizations, about $14 million of which went to Legions because, as I said, they cover a lot of turf.
I want to thank all of you here today. It's because of you, all parties, team Canada, that we were able to deliver that funding and continue the supports on the ground for these individuals. It's very important.
I understand we're going to vote on Bill C-14 today. I would like to think it will receive unanimous support because there are important investments in individuals, in Canadians, in this bill. It's already late, but together, as team Canada, we're going to get there because we need to get there.
I could go on for another hour if you want and talk about where our investments need to be when we talk about building back better because it's crucial. This is what the committee is supposed to be talking about. How can we work together to put forward the programs and initiatives and to create the investment environment?
Mr. Long is a businessman. As he knows, government is not to lead. We are to create that positive environment for the business community to prosper. We need to get out of their way to some extent for them to do that, and this is what we can do together.
I would love to continue on. Maybe I'll get another chance sometime, but I have another meeting. This is my first reflection with this committee in which I've had a chance to talk about this important motion and the amendment. We should be focused on building back better, working together for all Canadians.
To all Canadians from Newfoundland, the Atlantic, Ontario, Quebec, the west, British Columbia and the territories, I say: together we can change things.
I'll conclude with the expression I used for 11 years as executive director: "Every problem has a solution; together we can change things."
Thank you very much.