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More COVID-19 rapid tests coming under new law

Bill C-10 received Royal Assent on Friday.

The federal Government will soon be distributing hundreds of millions of additional COVID-19 rapid tests across the country thanks to legislation adopted in the Senate on Friday.

Bill C-10 allows Health Canada to purchase up to $2.5 billion worth of rapid tests, and distribute them to provinces, territories and Indigenous communities over the next three months.

“There is no disputing that COVID-19 testing and screening have helped immeasurably to accelerate the country’s ability to recover and move out of the pandemic,” said Senator Marc Gold, the Government Representative in the Senate.

“Bill C-10 provides the necessary funding so that tests are in the hands of any and all Canadians who want to use them. It will ensure that federal, provincial and territorial distribution programs can provide these tests to health care providers, long-term care residents, teachers and students and the broader population. These tests are a tool to enable Canadians to independently manage their testing needs.”

Since October 2020, the federal government has been providing rapid tests to provinces and territories free of charge.

“Given the constrained global supply and the government’s commitment to equitable access by all Canadians to tests, Bill C-10 seeks the additional funding for rapid test procurement through the winter and into the spring,” Gold said.

“These are a valuable tool in their toolboxes, allowing them to gradually lift public health measures while continuing to ensure that Canadians stay safe and healthy.”

More COVID-19 rapid tests coming under new law