Sending in Canadian troopers to backstop long-term care properties overrun by the novel coronavirus in Ontario and Quebec price the federal authorities roughly $53 million, in accordance with figures obtained by CBC News from the Department of National Defence (DND).
Senior army officers advised a House of Commons committee right this moment that various classes have been realized from the deployment at 54 long-term care properties in each provinces — classes that may come in helpful ought to additional missions be essential throughout the second wave.
Members of the defence committee requested for the estimate of price of that operation. Maj.-Gen. Trevor Cadieu promised to supply MPs with a written response.
CBC News already had requested for and obtained a breakdown of these bills previous to the committee assembly, nevertheless.
The figures for the long-term care deployment have been rolled right into a current request for supplementary funding put earlier than Parliament by DND.
The army’s general pandemic response (generally known as Operation Laser) has incurred $463 million in bills — together with $207.eight million spent to mobilize 1000’s of standard and reserve forces and on the intervention in long-term care properties.
The figures are present as of the tip of August.
New Democrat defence critic Randal Garrison stated that, as a Canadian, he was “embarrassed” by the truth that the scenario in long-term care properties was dire sufficient to require army motion.
He and different committee members repeatedly thanked army representatives for stabilizing the scenario in these long-term care centres — and for documenting the horrific circumstances confronted by many residents and employees throughout the pandemic disaster.
Those reviews led the Liberal authorities to name for nationwide requirements for long-term care properties.
Fifty-five members of the army contracted COVID-19 whereas serving in these centres, stated the army’s surgeon-general, Maj.-Gen. Marc Bilodeau. All of the troopers recovered and none required hospitalization, he added.
“We are trying to learn some lessons from this experience to enhance our reaction to any next crisis,” Bilodeau stated in French in response to a query from a committee member.
The army understands extra now concerning the virus and the way it’s spreads than it did within the spring, he added.
Cadieu stated the expertise of serving in long-term care amenities throughout a pandemic gave troopers new coaching in issues like the usage of private protecting gear — expertise that may assist the Armed Forces take care of the subsequent such disaster.
“Those troops will be going in having benefits from some of the tough lessons learned by their teammates,” he stated.
Separately, the army helps the Public Health Agency of Canada to finalize its vaccine distribution plan.
No resolution has been made but on whether or not there shall be a task for the Armed Forces in transporting, storing or delivering vaccines, Cadieu advised the committee.
“Specifically, the Canadian Armed Forces is assisting with the development of a logistics support plan for the rollout of the vaccine,” he stated. “We’re helping establish a national operations centre that will oversee distribution of the vaccine.”
The nation’s prime army commander has but to offer the federal government particular recommendation on how the Armed Forces might assist get vaccine doses to all components of the nation, Cadieu added.