I want to congratulate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on his re-election and congratulate all federal leaders who campaigned across Canada to ensure Canadians' voices were heard on the important issues facing this country.
For many, this has been an extremely difficult and divisive election and I would like to take this opportunity to urge unity. Emotions have run high as candidates from all parties debated pandemic policies, including vaccine certificates.
Ontario is set to introduce its own vaccine certificate this Wednesday to enter certain higher-risk businesses and settings. There are a lot of people who are concerned about this policy and I want you to know that I hear you. I understand your concerns about protecting your civil liberties and right to privacy. While many fully vaccinated people like myself share these concerns, the greater concern is having to shut down again or experience a sudden surge in cases like in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
This pandemic remains an emergency and there are real-world consequences of not acting. We must continue to do everything we can to protect our hard-fought progress so that we can provide businesses the stability they need and deserve. We need to do everything in our power to avoid future lockdowns and closures. That is why we are bringing in these exceptional measures on a temporary basis and will end them as soon as they can be responsibly removed.
With so many people rolling up their sleeve to get vaccinated, Ontarians are getting the job done. Because of your hard work and determination, our province is flattening the fourth wave, allowing us to help our neighbours in need. Alberta was there for Ontario earlier in the pandemic when we needed critical equipment and we will be there for them now.
To anyone who hasnâ€™t gotten their shot, please do so as soon as you can. If you have questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor, local pharmacist, or primary care provider. You can also call Ontarioâ€™s vaccine contact centre at 1-833-943-3900 to speak with a health professional about the COVID-19 vaccines.
I want to be clear: COVID-19 doesnâ€™t care about partisanship or politics and I will continue to work closely with the Prime Minister. People elected our government to work in the best interests of Ontario, not in service of one political party over others. Thatâ€™s exactly what our government will continue to do as we do everything possible to protect our people and our progress.