Ottawa offers military aid as Alberta battles brutal COVID-19 surge

The federal government is ready to help Alberta in its fight against COVID-19, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair says.

In a statement posted to Twitter Thursday, Blair confirmed Ottawa will assist the province following its recent request for help.

“The available federal assistance includes a range of capabilities,” he wrote, “including the deployment of CAF Medical resources and/or aero-medical evacuation capability, as well as the deployment of Canadian Red Cross resources through the Supporting a Humanitarian Workforce to Response to COVID-19 and Other Large-Scale Emergencies program and other federal health human resources.”

Ottawa’s assistance comes as Alberta finds its hospitals pushed to the limits due to a surge in COVID-19 cases across the province. Alberta has been in the national spotlight for weeks over its handling of the fourth wave, following a relaxation of protective measures in the summer.

On Tuesday, Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver wrote a letter to Blair seeking help with patient transfers and critical care staff. He also asked for an immediate meeting to discuss the requests.

“As has been the case throughout the pandemic, the Government of Canada stands ready to support Canadians, wherever they live and whatever their need,” Blair said.

Read more: It’s time Ottawa helps Alberta in its COVID-19 fight, advocates say

More to come.

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