March 11 marked a year since COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic, and mid-March in general marks the point when Canada started to see government-mandated shutdowns in an attempt to stop the spread of the disease.
Politicians from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to opposition leaders to provincial politicians have offered commemorations for those lost, and spoken about the frontline workers who have toiled through the last year.
Langley’s federal and provincial representatives offered their thoughts on the milestone as well.
“Today [March 11] is a day of reflection on the shared loss experienced by Canadians because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tako van Popta, MP for Langley-Aldergrove. “Together, we have endured a historic time of uncertainty, isolation, and for many, deep grief.
“I applaud the strength and resilience of the residents, and businesses of Langley–Aldergrove as we continue to make our way forward. I am especially thoughtful of our seniors who live isolated from their friends and family. I offer gratitude for our selfless frontline workers, and staff of our community organizations who continue to support our most vulnerable despite their fatigue and long, hard days.
“Conservative Party MPs continue to stand up for Canadians. With a spirit of collaboration in Canada’s Parliament, we were able to get essential financial assistance to individuals and businesses. We must do better because people are being left behind. We are also holding the government to account for an improved vaccine roll-out so that Canadians can get back to normal again, and we can focus on the post-COVID economic relaunch of our country. There is much work to do.
“Together, we will conquer COVID-19 and emerge a stronger country than ever before,” van Popta said.
Langley East MLA Megan Dykeman also spoke about the losses to B.C.
“This past year has been so challenging for us all. Today we mark the one-year anniversary of when our world was turned upside down, as a year ago today the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic,” Dykeman said.
“Today we remember the almost 1,400 British Columbians who lost their lives to the virus.
“As well as reflect and share our thankfulness to all those who have and continue to be our frontline and essential workers. From healthcare workers to those that keep our communities going through these challenging times, thank you for your continued service.
“As we look forward with hope to the light at the end of the tunnel with the ramping up of vaccines, we do need to continue to follow public health orders and advice so that we can ensure that we and those around us can remain healthy and safe as we head into the summer,” she said.
Langley MLA Andrew Mercier also remembered those who lost their lives to COVID-19.
“This year has been hard on families, businesses, students, and working people,” said Mercier. “My heart goes out to everyone who lost loved ones to COVID-19. I am so proud of my community, and the hard work that folks in Langley have done to get through this pandemic. Hope is around the corner. Our vaccination strategy is working, but we all need to continue doing our part so that we can reach the light at the end of the tunnel together.”
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