Partnership can save lives, preserve jobs and rebuild our economy

by Goldy Hyder – President and Chief Executive Officer, Business Council of Canada Donald R. Lindsay – President and Chief Executive Officer, Teck Resources Limited

Dear Prime Minister and Premiers,

As business and community leaders, we share your commitment to keeping Canadians safe and eliminating as soon as possible the threat posed by COVID-19.

We are encouraged by the federal government’s assurances that, despite some delays, Canada is still on track to receive a total of six million doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of March, enough to vaccinate three million people.

As vaccine shipments accelerate through the spring and summer, there will need to be an “all hands-on-deck” push to inoculate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.

Companies and employers across the country are ready and eager to offer their expertise and resources at every stage of the rollout. This includes transportation and storage, establishing and scaling up vaccination clinics, training staff, tracking inventory and managing immunization records.

Having said that, it is increasingly apparent that a single large-scale vaccination campaign will not be enough to overcome the pandemic and restore a sense of normalcy to life in Canada.

The time has come for a sustained national commitment to widespread and frequent rapid testing and screening.

We as employers are prepared to play a leadership role, building on the success of rapid screening pilot projects that are currently under way at workplaces across Canada.

However, for any such effort to succeed we need the federal government to coordinate purchases on a massive scale, and we need the full cooperation of provinces, territories and public health officials.

In parallel with this, your governments must take additional steps to protect Canadians from the spread of COVID-19 variants, some of which may require new or modified vaccines.

The past few weeks have shown Canadians what can happen when our country relies exclusively on vaccines manufactured elsewhere. We cannot afford to allow that to happen again.

Last week the Prime Minister announced an agreement with a U.S.-based company to produce COVID-19 vaccines at a plant in Montreal owned by the National Research Council. We welcome this development, but coronavirus strains will be with us for years to come and one such facility may not be enough.

For that reason, we encourage the federal government to take further steps to expand Canada’s vaccine manufacturing capacity, particularly in the emerging field of mRNA vaccines.

Eleven months ago, COVID-19 claimed its first life in Canada. Since then, almost 21,000 have died, more than 800,000 have contracted the virus, and millions have lost employment income.

On behalf of Canada’s business leaders, we thank you and your colleagues for everything you have done to protect Canadians. Much more work lies ahead. A close partnership between governments and employers can save lives, preserve jobs and rebuild our economy.


Kind regards,

Donald R. Lindsay
President and Chief Executive Officer Teck Resources Limited and Chair of the Board of Directors Business Council of Canada

Goldy Hyder
President and Chief Executive Officer
Business Council of Canada

Signatories

Name Title Company
Mr. John M. Beck Chairman Aecon Group Inc.
Mr. Jean-Louis Servranckx President and Chief Executive Officer Aecon Group Inc.
Mr. Blake C. Goldring, C.M., M.S.M., C.D. Executive Chairman AGF Management Limited
Mr. Calin Rovinescu President and Chief Executive Officer Air Canada
Mr. Ronald N. Stern President and Chief Executive Officer Alberta Newsprint Company
Mr. John E. Peller, O.C. President and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Peller Limited
Mr. Stéphane Lespérance President and Chief Executive Officer Aon Reed Stenhouse Inc.
Mr. Mac Van Wielingen Founder and Partner ARC Financial Corp.
Ms. Nancy Southern Chair and Chief Executive Officer ATCO Ltd.
Mr. Andrew Hider Chief Executive Officer ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc.
Mr. Mirko Bibic President and Chief Executive Officer BCE Inc. and Bell Canada
Mr. Darryl White Chief Executive Officer BMO Financial Group
Mr. John Corley President and Chief Executive Officer Brink’s Canada Limited
Mr. Michael W. Rencheck President and Chief Executive Officer Bruce Power
Mr. Marc Parent, C.M. President and Chief Executive Officer CAE Inc.
Mr. Tim Gitzel President and Chief Executive Officer Cameco Corporation
Mr. Daniel Daviau President and Chief Executive Officer Canaccord Genuity Group Inc.
Mr. Dani Reiss President and Chief Executive Officer Canada Goose Inc.
Mr. Keith Creel President and Chief Executive Officer Canadian Pacific Railway
Mr. Greg Hicks President and Chief Executive Officer Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited.
Mr. Gordon McKenzie President and Chief Executive Officer Canpotex Limited
Mr. Alex Pourbaix President & Chief Executive Officer Cenovus Energy Inc.
Mr. Victor G. Dodig President and Chief Executive Officer CIBC
Mr. Ian Smith Chief Executive Officer Clearwater Seafoods Limited Partnership
Mr. Yves-Thomas Dorval Executive Chairman of the Board Conseil du patronat du Québec
Mr. Ronald Mannix Chairman Emeritus Coril Holdings Ltd.
Ms. Deanna L. Zumwalt President and Chief Executive Officer Coril Holdings Ltd.
Mr. Doug Murphy President and Chief Executive Officer Corus Entertainment Inc.
Mr. Donald E. Clow President and Chief Executive Officer Crombie REIT
Mr. Chris H. Fowler President and Chief Executive Officer CWB Financial Group
 Mr. John Baker President and Chief Executive Officer D2L Corporation
Ms. Wendy Andrushko President DuPont Canada
Mr. Geoffrey M. Smith President and Chief Executive Officer EllisDon Corporation
Mr. Al Monaco President and Chief Executive Officer Enbridge Inc.
Mr. Ian C. Dundas, B.Comm., L.L.B. President and Chief Executive Officer Enerplus Corporation
Mr. Darren Throop President and Chief Executive Officer Entertainment One Ltd.
Mr. Jad Shimaly Chairman and Chief Executive Officer EY Canada
Mr. Stephan Crétier Founding President and Chief Executive Officer GardaWorld
Mr. Paul Wood President and Chief Executive Officer Giant Tiger Stores Limited
Ms. Sabrina Geremia Country Manager Google Canada
Mr. Andy Trewick President and Chief Executive Officer Graham Construction & Engineering Inc.
Mr. Paul A. Mahon President and Chief Executive Officer Great-West Lifeco and Canada Life
Mr. Howard Field President and Chief Executive Officer Greenfield Global Inc.
Mr. Paul J. Hill Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Harvard Developments Inc. – A Hill Company
Mr. Charles Brindamour Chief Executive Officer Intact Financial Corporation
Mr. Hartley T. Richardson, O.C., O.M. President and Chief Executive Officer James Richardson & Sons, Limited
Mr. Dean Setoguchi President and Chief Executive Officer Keyera Corp.
Mr. Jon E. Love Chief Executive Officer KingSett Capital Inc.
Mr. Elio Luongo Chief Executive Officer and Senior Partner KPMG LLP
Mr. Bruno Keller President Kraft Heinz Canada ULC
Mr. Dax Dasilva Founder and Chief Executive Officer Lightspeed POS Inc.
Ms. Linda S. Hasenfratz Chief Executive Officer Linamar Corporation
Mr. Swamy Kotagiri Chief Executive Officer Magna International Inc.
Mr. Peter E. Gilgan, C.M., O.Ont. Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mattamy Asset Management Inc.
Mr. Jacques Mignault President and Chief Executive Officer McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada
Mr. Mike Greenley Chief Executive Officer MDA Inc.
Ms. Jaqui Parchment Chief Executive Officer Mercer (Canada) Limited
Mr. Kevin Peesker President Microsoft Canada Inc.
Mr. Stephen Liptrap President and Chief Executive Officer Morneau Shepell Ltd.
Mr. Jeffery M. Zweig President and Chief Executive Officer Mosaic Forest Management Corp.
Mr. Louis O. Vachon, C.M. President and Chief Executive Officer National Bank of Canada
Mr. Jeffrey Maddox President Nokia Canada Inc.
Mr. Luis Sierra President and Chief Executive Officer NOVA Chemicals Corporation
Mr. Chuck Magro President and Chief Executive Officer Nutrien Ltd.n
Mr. Mark J. Barrenechea Vice Chair, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer OpenText Corporation
Mr. Bob Espey President and Chief Executive Officer Parkland Corporation
Mr. David G. Filipchuk President and Chief Executive Officer PCL Constructors Inc.
Mr. Sam Sebastian President and Chief Executive Officer Pelmorex Corp.
Mr. Hassan Khosrowshahi, C.M., O.B.C. Chairman Persis Holdings Ltd.
Mr. Neil Chrystal President and Chief Executive Officer Polygon Homes Ltd.
Mr. Paul Desmarais, Jr. Chairman Power Corporation of Canada
Mr. R. Jeffrey Orr President and Chief Exeutive Officer Power Corporation of Canada
Mr. Steve Sammut President and Chief Executive Officer Rocky Mountaineer Railtours
Mr. Joe Natale President and Chief Executive Officer Rogers Communications Inc.
Mr. Lino A. Saputo, Jr. Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Saputo Inc.
Mr. Brian Porter President and Chief Executive Officer Scotiabank
Mr. Bradley S. Shaw Chief Executive Officer Shaw Communications Inc.
Mr. Michael Crothers President, Canada Country Chair Shell Canada
Mr. David V. Pathe President and Chief Executive Officer Sherritt International Corporation
Mr. Faisal Kazi President and Chief Executive Officer Siemens Canada Limited
Mr. Dean Connor President and Chief Executive Officer Sun Life Financial Inc.
Mr. Mark Little President and Chief Executive Officer Suncor Energy Inc.
Mr. Soumen Roy Executive Director and Country Head Tata Consultancy Services Canada Inc.
Mr. Donald R. Lindsay President and Chief Executive Officer Teck Resources Limited
Mr. Darren Entwistle President and Chief Executive Officer TELUS Communications Inc.
Mr. John M. Sullivan President and Chief Executive Officer The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited
Mr. Steve Hasker President and Chief Executive Officer Thomson Reuters
Mr. John McKenzie Chief Executive Officer TMX Group Limited
Mr. Edward Sims President and Chief Executive Officer WestJet