Government of Canada continues federal support to Quebec COVID-19 response through partnership with Canadian Red Cross

News release

June 26, 2020
Ottawa, Ontario

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting provinces in delivering a sustained response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to a Request for Assistance from Quebec, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have been operating Augmented Civilian Care (ACC) teams comprised of one senior medical authority, personal care workers, and support troops to long-term care facilities in the province since April 20, 2020.

From the beginning of the pandemic, our members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been there for Canadians. Over a thousand CAF members have worked inside long-term care facilities, helping provincial and civilian employees to improve conditions for the residents in 47 long-term care facilities in Quebec. Their efforts have made a real difference in the lives of many who were in need of care.

The situation in Quebec’s long-term care facilities has stabilized, and while the need for support remains, a CAF deployment is no longer required to meet that need. In its place, the Government of Canada continues to offer federal support to the province by funding the Canadian Red Cross to rapidly scale up a new humanitarian workforce to complement existing health measures in long-term care and residential facilities. This will allow most CAF members to transition back to their regular duties following appropriate isolation periods, while maintaining a small reserve force available if there is a resurgence or new outbreak. CAF plans to maintain 10 military teams made up of medically trained and support personnel in Quebec, who would serve as a rapid-response force in the event of emergency situations developing in long-term care facilities.

The Red Cross recently launched a Canada-wide recruitment campaign for this new workforce. With the support of Health Canada and the Public Service Commission, the Red Cross is currently establishing its first cohort of personnel, who will be trained and ready for work in Quebec long-term care facilities as of July 6, 2020. By the end of July, the Red Cross is expected to have recruited and trained a total of 900 individuals ready to support in facilities across Quebec, with a focus on those facilities with the highest needs.

Red Cross resources are expected to be in place until September 15, 2020 when provincial recruitment and training efforts should be completed and the first deployment of permanent staff will be in place.

Quotes

“The priority for the Government of Canada is to protect the health and safety of all Canadians, particularly those most vulnerable to this virus. We are proud of the work that the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces have done and will continue to provide federal support to Quebec through the Canadian Red Cross to ensure that care continues to be provided to those who are most in need.”

- The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“When Canadians need their assistance members of the Defence team always answer the call, as they have for our parents and grandparents in long-term care facilities in Quebec and Ontario. They have worked tirelessly alongside their provincial government partners to help slow and contain the spread of COVID-19 in these residences. Now that the situation is stabilized, most CAF personnel are beginning to transition back into their regular roles. However, our support in the overall Government response to COVID-19 remains available and active. We are always committed to the well-being of Canadians at home and abroad.”

- The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“I am extremely grateful for the efforts of Canada’s Armed Forces in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada, to support the health and safety of one of our most vulnerable populations. Long-term care facilities have been severely stressed by COVID-19, and this support from the Government of Canada to the Canadian Red Cross will ensure the hard work by members of the CAF to improve conditions for will continue.”

- The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health

“The Canadian Red Cross is grateful for the support and collaboration from the Government of Canada, which will allow us to continue assisting the most vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19. It is these individuals that have been the most adversely affected and collectively we must come together to meet the needs in our communities. The Canadian Red Cross is actively recruiting people to join our teams as we build a humanitarian workforce to provide comfort and care to residents in long-term care facilities in Quebec.”

Conrad Sauvé, President and CEO, Canadian Red Cross

Quick facts

  • The Canadian Red Cross’s support to Quebec long-term care facilities will be funded through the up to $100 million in support for the Red Cross that the Prime Minister announced on May 16, 2020. This funding was committed to support additional relief and recovery efforts this year related to COVID-19, floods and wildfires, to enhance the Red Cross’s response capacity and to support public health efforts.

  • In order to fill positions for their humanitarian workforce, the Red Cross recently launched a recruitment campaign. They are currently accepting applications for the following roles:

    • Support Aide
    • Administrative Aid
    • Site Manager
    • Health and Safety Advisor
  • The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have been complementing provincial efforts by providing a surge workforce for long-term care facilities in Quebec. The CAF will remain available in a surge and transition capacity. The 10 teams that remain in Quebec will consist of one nurse and six medical technicians.

  • The CAF have also been working with provincial partners in Ontario since April 28, 2020, to deliver support to seven long-term care facilities, as identified by the Government of Ontario.

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Contacts

Mary-Liz Power
Press Secretary 
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
mary-liz.power@canada.ca

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada
613-991-0657
ps.mediarelations-relationsaveclesmedias.sp@canada.ca


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