FREDERICTON (GNB) – The safe restart agreement reached between the federal, provincial and territorial governments will help New Brunswick better prepare for the ongoing challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, said Premier Blaine Higgs.

The $18.4 billion agreement, announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the provincial and territorial premiers, is designed to improve confidence among Canadians as activity resumes during the ongoing pandemic.

The agreement provides:

  • funding to support the acquisition of personal protective equipment for health-care and non-health-care sectors;
  • support for child care and senior care facilities;
  • direct funding to improve the sustainability of Canada’s health-care systems;
  • and assistance for municipalities.

New Brunswick will benefit from direct transfers of over $200 million during the current fiscal year, in addition to having access to supplies from an enhanced federal stockpile of personal protective equipment.

Higgs thanked the other premiers, as well as the prime minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland for their leadership and determination in reaching an agreement that benefits all Canadians.

“We are all in this together, and we have shown our desire to make sure that Canadians can safely move forward with their lives during this pandemic,” said Higgs. “This agreement will help us in our efforts to address concerns facing New Brunswickers in adjusting to our new normal.”

Higgs said the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the need for comprehensive action to secure the future of Canada’s health-care systems. He said he is looking forward to further discussions among the first ministers to make health care sustainable for all Canadians for decades to come.