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Scoring China’s coronavirus response

By Gwynne Dyer      

Chinese doctors will do their duty, as always, but it would be nice if China had its political act a bit more together before then.

President Xi Jinping, pictured in 2015, finally spoke about the coronavirus on Jan. 25, saying that China faces a ‘grave situation,’ and now the system is racing to do what should have been done two weeks ago. Photograph courtesy of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

LONDON, U.K.—In an emergency, the good thing about a dictatorship is that it can respond very fast. The bad thing is that it won’t respond at all until the dictator-in-chief says that it should. All the little dictators who flourish in this sort of system won’t risk their positions by passing bad news up the line until the risk of being blamed for delay outweighs the risk of being blamed for the emergency in the first place.

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Wage subsidies ‘critical,’ a ‘lifeline’ for businesses to survive pandemic, says Chamber of Commerce president

News|By Mike Lapointe
'This subsidy will make a real difference in your lives and help everyone affected bridge to better times,' said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday, March 27.

Mental health a ‘missing piece’ in feds’ COVID-19 response, say critics, advocates

NDP MP Don Davies says the situation calls for an ‘extraordinary response’ and supports for mental health, which one advocate says should come ‘imminently.’

Food supply, emergency vehicle repair: keeping Canada-U.S. trade open key to fight against COVID-19, say stakeholders

The 'biggest point of concern right now' is 'making sure that we keep those shipments of fresh vegetables and other commodities rolling in by truck across the border, truck or train,' says John Manley.

Refusing to commit to firm timeline, Trudeau says it’s ‘realistic’ measures will last until July

The government is working to recall Parliament to consider passing what the prime minister has cast as the 'biggest economic measures' in Canada’s history.

Introduction of electronic, remote voting not called for yet, but should be re-examined by House committee, say some MPs

Conservative MP Stephanie Kusie says she doesn’t think such a reconsideration is warranted yet, but could be if COVID-19 keeps Parliament away into the fall.

Lobbyists clamour to get voices heard on COVID-19

The number of lobbying files connected to COVID-19 has exploded in the last week, with 90 registrations for 55 organizations outlining plans to push federal officials on issues ranging from policy to funding.

Feds to spend $2-billion to scale up production of medical supplies, equipment, as it braces for anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases

'We need a sustainable and stable supply of these products, and that means making them at home, and we’re optimistic that they will be available in the coming weeks,' says Prime Minister Trudeau.

Canadian authorities in talks about COVID-19 tracking apps

In Canada, separate projects are underway that would combine phone location data with positive COVID-19 diagnoses to notify individuals about potential exposure in what their creators say are privacy-friendly ways.

Budget 2020, election promises in question amid COVID-19 global pandemic crisis, say McKay, Delacourt

‘It is going to blow a hole in the government’s legislative agenda,’ says Liberal MP John McKay.
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