Government of Canada to assist Nova Scotia with COVID-19 immunization program

News release

January 10, 2022

Ottawa, Ontario

The President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Bill Blair, confirmed that the Government of Canada has approved a Request for Federal Assistance from the Province of Nova Scotia to help support their COVID-19 immunization program.

To help address the immediate and significant challenges the Nova Scotia health care system is currently facing, the Government of Canada will provide up to 24 Canadian Red Cross personnel, including up to 14 immunizers and up to 10 generalists, to the province. These resources will help establish a central vaccination clinic in Halifax with the capacity to administer up to 1,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses per day. In addition to getting shots in arms, they will help the clinic run smoothly, supporting site navigation and sanitization, safety and well-being duties, and post-vaccine observation.   

The Red Cross deployment is funded by Public Safety’s Humanitarian Workforce Program, which was established in Summer 2021, following the 2020 Fall Economic Statement. In the Fall Economic Statement, the government announced its intention to provide additional $150 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to support the Canadian Red Cross and other non-governmental organizations in building and maintaining a humanitarian workforce to provide surge capacity in response to COVID-19 outbreaks and other large-scale emergencies.

The Government Operations Centre is working closely with federal and provincial partners to coordinate the federal response to the situation in Nova Scotia.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government Operations Centre has administered more than 150 requests for assistance from federal, provincial, and territorial partners. These requests have been administered in collaboration with federal organizations, including the Department of National Defence, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, and non-governmental partners, such as the Canadian Red Cross.


“Vaccines are our most effective tool against COVID-19, and we will continue to do whatever it takes to make sure Canadians can get their shots to protect themselves and their communities. The Canadian Red Cross and countless health professionals and emergency managers have stepped up time and time again throughout the pandemic to support Canadians, and I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to all those working on the front lines to keep Canadians safe.”

- The Honourable Bill Blair, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness

“As we continue to navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Red Cross is well-positioned to support its government and community partners to provide access to COVID-19 vaccines. I am grateful for the dedication of our frontline workers who continue to demonstrate their commitment to the health and well-being of Canadians.”

- Mr. Conrad Sauvé, President and CEO, Canadian Red Cross

Quick facts

  • Since January 2020, the Government of Canada has approved more than 150 Requests for Federal Assistance (including extensions) for COVID-19 and weather-related events.

  • Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the Red Cross has provided support to long-term care homes, hospital intensive care units, testing and tracing and vaccination. 

  • Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Red Cross has provided numerous supports to the Government of Nova Scotia, including deploying a 16-person team which, in June and July 2021, worked in partnership with personnel from the IWK Health Centre and the Canadian Forces to deliver more than 15,000 Moderna first and second doses at a temporary vaccination clinic at Halifax Convention Centre.

  • The Government Operations Centre is responsible for coordinating the Government of Canada's response to emergency events including the pandemic. It supports the Public Health Agency of Canada, which is the federal government lead for the response to COVID-19.

  • In Canada, emergencies are managed first at the municipal level and if they need assistance, they request it from their province or territory. If the emergency escalates further, provinces or territories can get help from the federal government.

  • A Request for Federal Assistance is initiated when an emergency event overwhelms or threatens to overwhelm the resources of a province or territory and federal government help is needed to effectively support the impacted region. 

  • Should a province or territory make an official Request for Federal Assistance, there is a well-established process in place for managing the request, through the Government Operations Centre, and includes provincial/territorial and interdepartmental consultation and coordination.

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Annie Cullinan
Press Secretary
Office of the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

Canadian Red Cross
English Media: 1-877-599-9602
French Media: 1-888-418-9111

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