With the federal election coming up, Cambridge Times and Metroland Media decided to look at the issues dominating the campaign. Here's a local look at pandemic efforts and recovery, and what the federal candidates are promising.
Pandemic Efforts and Recovery
After being hit hard at the beginning of the pandemic, Waterloo Region mounted an impressive vaccine effort and has distributed over 822,268 doses of the vaccine as of press time. At press time, there were 161 active cases in the region. According to a report by the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo, Wellington and Dufferin, it could be another year before Waterloo Region sees full economic recovery. This is mainly due to worker shortages, the threat of another lockdown, and low-cash flow amongst businesses that are still adjusting to the new normal.
What the parties are promising:
Liberals: The party has signed a contract for booster vaccines, and have made vaccines mandatory for all public service workers. The party has also pledged 10 days of paid sick leave for federal workers, money towards improved ventilation in schools and $9 billion to train new personal support workers.
Conservatives: The party has promised to implement a Canada Emergency Preparedness Plan, that would research how to make Canada more ready to detect looming health threats. That party would also investigate the origins of COVID-19 and would call a public inquiry into the Liberals’ pandemic response. The Conservative platform also includes vows to ramp up domestic production capacity and research.
NDP: The party has advocated for more economic supports throughout the pandemic. They are proposing a Crown corporation for vaccine production and domestic personal protective equipment manufacturing.
Green party: In the past the Green party has proposed an all-party committee to collaborate on COVID measures.
Genelle Levy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cambridge Times