Mr. Speaker, let me begin by acknowledging that I am speaking from the territory of many first nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinabe, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wyandot peoples.
I will be splitting my time today with my parliamentary secretary.
I will address the motion before the House today point by point, as I believe, and I am sure everyone agrees, that we have to remain factual and clear when debating such important matters as Canada's vaccine strategy. Unfortunately the motion before us contains significant areas of incomplete and incorrect information before it reaches a disingenuous and misleading conclusion.
First, the motion's preamble states that 2.7% of Canadians are fully vaccinated, which means they have received two doses of one of the vaccines that is currently approved for use in this country.
I am not disputing that figure, but it ignores the fact that 31% of all Canadians have received at least one dose of the vaccine, which puts us in third place in the G20.
I will speak more to the overall picture of where Canada stands in our vaccine efforts in a moment.
Next, the opposition would have us believe that our entire vaccine campaign should be defined by a three-week period during which suppliers were retooling and ramping up production in the early part of this year. It is true that Canada experienced disruptions in the early days relating to supply chain issues, which I communicated to Canadians immediately upon receiving the information from one of our suppliers.
However, even as the opposition kept saying that Canada would never recover from that temporary delay, my team and I continued to apply pressure and work hard every day to make our suppliers honour their contracts. Let us take some time to look at where that hard work has gotten us.
At the time, we said we were on track to meet our quarterly objective of six million doses. We actually exceeded that objective by over 50% and received 9.5 million doses during the first part of this year.
To date, nearly 15 million doses of vaccines have been delivered to Canada, and nearly 13 million of those have been administered by provinces and territories. Through our relationships with vaccine suppliers, we have advanced the delivery dates of 28 million doses. Canada is solidly in the top three among G20 nations for total number of doses administered per capita, average daily doses administered and percentage of our population with at least one dose. This is despite the opposition's continued claims that we would not have any doses until 2030.
From our solid base of procurements, we will continue to build. Starting next week, Pfizer alone will be delivering two million doses a week for every week in May before moving to 2.4 million doses a week for all of June. Those are benchmarks. In total, Canada will receive between 48 million and 50 million doses by the end of June, with tens of millions more coming before the end of September.
The next point of the motion I would like to address is one concerning the timing of administration of doses. The Conservatives, while in government, muzzled scientists. Now, in opposition, they seem to have gone a step further by trying to deny that scientists exist.
Let us be very clear about the misinformation included in the motion we are debating. The federal government does not decide to whom vaccine doses are administered or when they are administered. Qualified doctors and immunologists, acting on the best scientific data available, make recommendations on how to achieve the best public health outcomes possible, and even with that, the guidance provided by the independent National Advisory Committee on Immunization is exactly that: guidance.
Each province and each territory is responsible for making its own decisions in terms of the rollout and the administration of vaccines. That is part of our constitutional framework. Most public health experts say it is far better to have two people with 80% protection than it is to have one person with 90% protection and another with absolutely no protection at all. It is similar to the approach that was followed in the U.K., among other countries. Personally, I find that argument compelling.
However, to put it bluntly, my opinion on the matter of dosing intervals is irrelevant. This is not a political decision. This is medical advice provided by medical professionals and experts in the field of immunization and public health, and it is based in fact and in science. Our government did not order doctors to draw any conclusions, and we most certainly did not order them to change their advice for political reasons. Frankly, I find it troubling, given everything we have seen during this pandemic, that the opposition would suggest that doctors had been ignored and overruled for partisan reasons.
The opposition does not appear to understand how our country works. On the advice of the vaccine task force and Health Canada, Public Services and Procurement Canada has pursued an aggressive procurement strategy to ensure that we have a diverse portfolio of vaccines, as well as the syringes, needles and other products that are also needed, all with the goal of ensuring that Canada is very well positioned to fight COVID-19.
Health Canada confirms that vaccines are properly tested to ensure their safety and effectiveness. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization reviews the actual data, in Canada and elsewhere, and provides advice on best practices and uses for the various vaccines. Major-General Dany Fortin and his team at the national operations centre continue to ensure the timely distribution of vaccines and immunization supplies to the provinces and territories.
Once those doses are delivered, it is then up to the provinces and territories to make their own decisions concerning the administration of vaccines and to make decisions when it comes to prioritizing populations, administration locations and timing. It is my understanding that the Conservatives are close with some of these premiers, so I would respectively suggest, if they disagree with the way the vaccines are being administered, to perhaps take it up with the premiers themselves.
Point (iv) of the motion, and the final point in the preamble, states that Canadians from British Columbia to my home province of Nova Scotia are facing increasing restrictions due to the third wave. On this point, I do agree. It is factual and relevant. We must all remember that, at the end of the day, the decisions governments make, the promises we make and the messages we send have real impacts on real people, which is why we must remain factual, realistic and forthright. Sadly, the conclusion of the motion does not live up to that test.
Given its demonstrated misunderstanding of the current global situation around vaccine production, supply chains, the science guiding the administration of doses, and federal and provincial roles, it comes as no surprise that the opposition concludes this motion by saying that the government should complete the largest mass-vaccination program in Canadian history by its arbitrarily set deadline of the May long weekend.
Let us take a moment to think about the real-world implications of what is being proposed. At a time when COVID vaccines are the single most sought after commodity in the world, and Canada is among the leading nations in the procurement of these vaccines, and with no suggestions on how to accomplish this goal, the Conservatives are proposing that Canada complete the procurement portion of the largest mass-immunization campaign in Canadian history in the next three weeks.
I have worked on procuring vaccines for Canadians and accelerating the delivery of doses every single day since last spring without exception. I have spoken with the top executives of nearly every major vaccine supplier in the world. Our team across government has reached out to international and domestic partners in search of vaccines.
To say that this motion is nothing more than political theatre is an understatement. It is detached from reality and, frankly, irresponsible.