Canada is announcing an investment of $240 M invested to bring healthcare online, for both mental health and primary care. Video conferencing will enable people to “see” a physician online when an in-person visit isn’t required. Since we are investing in physical distancing, now is the right time to introduce this technology.
The federal government is also investing $175 to go to a Vancouver biotech firm AbCellera, who is looking into antibody discovery. Clinical trials may begin as early as July. A COVID-19 Supply Council has also been struck to ensure that Canada will always have the supplies it needs to manage any possible outbreaks.
Lastly, the Canada Child Benefit payment will be boosting May’s payment with an extra $300 per child.
From the Q&A
The funds for online care will be distributed to the provinces, but it sounds like the federal government will be doing an aspect of that themselves. Healthcare is a provincial responsibility.
More needs to be done with gun control, including strengthening border controls. This is acknowledged, and more work will be done. Assault-style weapons designed to kill as many people in the shortest time possible have no place in Canada.
With the reopening of the country, it will be done step by step and region by region. All provinces have agreed on basic principles and measures; the federal government will be there to assist the provinces, who will manage the re-opening in their regions.
Should the NHL start playing again, Trudeau said that at this point anyone coming in from another country will have to undergo the self-isolation period required by all travellers. Conversations still need to happen, we’re not at this point yet.
When it comes to understanding the spread of the coronavirus worldwide, Canada is not yet at a point of being able to draw conclusions. The priority right now is to get through this crisis; time for reflection will come.
As the economy slowly starts to open, PPEs are going to become even more important. Canada will be working with the newly struck Supply Council to ensure sufficient supply and distribution. Social distancing rules will continue to apply, and the usage of masks will probably become more common in areas where physical distancing is not possible (eg, on a bus or an airplane).
When the crisis hit, Canada’s priority was to support Canadians to enable them to stay at home. This meant giving the financial support that allowed that to happen as much as possible. Canada was in a good fiscal position before COVID-19 hit, and Trudeau still expects the economy to come “roaring back.”
There are concerns about the accuracy of the Spartan Biolab swab tests, they are recalling their products to do further testing. Anytime quick action is required, there are risks that are taken. Health Canada has paused the use of COVID-19 rapid tests produced by Spartan. Other provinces were relying, in part, on this product to support their re-opening of the economy. This pandemic is very fluid, and the responses have to be equally flexible. The federal government is there to provide support to the provinces as the provinces drive the opening of the economy. The provinces set the pace, the federal government supports them.
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