Government of Canada assists Ontario with COVID-19 response

News release

April 26, 2021
Ottawa, Ontario

Throughout the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic response, the Government of Canada has been providing significant support to each province and territory.

Today, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Bill Blair; the Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Harjit Sajjan; the Minister of Health, the Honourable Patty Hajdu; and President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc confirmed that the Government of Canada will be providing more help to Ontario in response to the province’s request for assistance to support the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to this request, the federal government is prepared to deploy federal health human resources, provide support from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), and fund the redeployment of the Canadian Red Cross (CRC) to augment or relieve staff within medical care facilities. In addition, the CAF will be providing airlift of medical personnel from Newfoundland and Labrador and possibly other jurisdictions.

The CAF is preparing to deploy up to three multi-purpose medical assistance teams (MMATs), which are scalable healthcare provider teams primarily composed of Nursing Officers and Medical Technicians as well as additional CAF members for general duty support as applicable. The MMATs will be rotated in and out of the province rather than deployed simultaneously to ensure that CAF support is sustainable. Work is currently underway to complete on the ground assessments, which will determine the exact number of CAF personnel who will be dedicated to this request.

Tomorrow morning, Royal Canadian Air Force personnel will be flying medical personnel from Newfoundland and Labrador to Toronto to help in Ontario medical facilities.

The Government Operations Centre has staff working to coordinate the federal response to the situation in Ontario. Canadians can be assured that all orders of government are working together to deliver the required help.

The federal government has supported Ontario with safe isolation sites for temporary foreign workers, CAF and the CRC for long term care facilities, two mobile health units, and Canadian Rangers in a number of small communities. 


“We are always ready to help provinces and territories across Canada in their fight against COVID-19. This is a team Canada effort, and I'm grateful to the Canadian Armed Forces, Canadian Red Cross, and health professionals who have stepped up to help a neighbour in need. There has been outstanding collaboration between the responding organizations from all orders of government in response to this emergency, and I want to thank all those on the front lines who continue battle to keep Canadians safe.”

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

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, in our most difficult moments, Canadians have relied on the Canadian Armed Forces for help. No matter the challenge, our people in uniform have been ready to help. The Canadian Armed Forces will be there for Ontarians in their time of need alongside our partners. We are ready, willing and able to help Ontarians through this tough time.”

- The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence 

“The citizens of Ontario can know the federal government is there, working with the province of Ontario, to make sure their loved ones are taken care of and that healthcare resources are available. I want to thank health care workers, in Ontario and across the country, who are making sacrifices to protect fellow citizens.”

- The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health

“From the start of the pandemic the health and safety of Canadians has been our government’s number one priority. We are sending additional resources to Ontario to help protect Ontarians and we will continue to work collaboratively with provinces and territories in the fight against COVID-19.”

- The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Quick facts

  • The federal government is further prepared to offer the following additional supports:

    • The deployment of the CAF to support the province through the provision of transportation of civilian health human resource providers from other jurisdictions to Ontario and back until private or commercial flight options are available.
    • CAF medical resources to augment and/or relieve staff within medical care facilities, and CAF Resources to provide general duty, administration and logistics support tasks.
    • Redeployment of CRC resources from current federally-funded efforts, and deployment of federal human health resources from various departments.

Associated links


James Cudmore
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

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