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Jagmeet Singh calls for unified message to Canadians on COVID vaccines

Last Updated Sep 4, 2021 at 9:05 pm EDT

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh makes his platform announcement in St. John's, N.L., on Thursday, August 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sarah Smellie

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is calling on the other party leaders to put partisanship aside and record a message urging Canadians to get vaccinated.

In a letter sent Saturday to Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, Green leader Annamie Paul and Bloc leader Yves Blanchet, Singh says they should all come together ahead of next Wednesday’s election debate in Ottawa and deliver a simple message to Canadians – ‘If you are eligible, you should get vaccinated.’

“We cannot risk turning vaccination into an issue that people define by partisanship. Doing so will only discourage people from getting their shot,” writes Singh. “As federal leaders, it is out job to lead and unite our country during these challenging times.”

Both O’Toole and Trudeau have indicated they would participate, with O’Toole calling it a “great initiative” and a “moment for the country to unite” while Trudeau said it’s time to “finish this fight against COVID-19.”

Singh’s plea comes on the heels of new federal modelling which shows Canada could see more than 15,000 new cases each day by the beginning of October if the rate of transmission remains as it is.

The latest data shows that since the last federal modelling update, hospitalizations across Canada have more than doubled and daily infections have also surged.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam says slowing vaccination rates and early reopenings across the country have set the stage for a major resurgence.

“Getting yourself vaccinated and encouraging others who are eligible is the best way to protect them,” Tam said.

More than 53-million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Canada since December of last year. More than 84 per cent of Canada’s eligible population 12 years and older having received at least one dose while 77 per cent of Canadians are fully vaccinated.

A copy of Jagmeet Singh’s letter:

Files from The Canadian Press were used in this report