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Yes, the coronavirus is a threat to health, but we should not panic

By Andrew Caddell      

There is still the chance the virus could mutate into something more dangerous, but right now, all that is speculation and sensationalism: the coronavirus is not Ebola.

Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Howard Njoo, Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, Health Minister Patty Hajdu and Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne provide an update on Canada’s response to the coronavirus in Ottawa on Feb. 3. Unlike epidemics of the past, Canadian authorities have had enough advance warning to know how to respond, writes Andrew Caddell. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

OTTAWA—In the fall of 1996, I had just started work at the World Health Organization in Geneva as an information officer. Within a few days of my arrival, there was word of the possibility of cholera in the camps in then-Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) in the Great Lakes Region, bordering Rwanda. These refugee camps in Goma were housing the hundreds of thousands of Hutu who had been the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide in April and May of the previous year.

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‘A real lack of leadership’: critics call for better response from feds as Wet’suwet’en blockades continue

‘Negotiations should take as long as they need to,’ says Ellen Gabriel, a former Mohawk spokesperson during the Oka Crisis.

Advocate calling for a simplified suicide hotline number gets ally in Sen. Batters

News|By Beatrice Paez
'Silence is never the right response when suicide is the subject,' says Kathleen Finlay. 'It’s too important an issue for our political leaders to stay silent on.'

Collaborate and listen: Bloc Québécois hopes to leverage minority Parliament dynamics to make mark

‘Now that it’s a minority government, they have to listen to everybody,’ says Bloc MP Rhéal Fortin, his party’s justice critic.

Tory leadership candidates champion CANZUK pact, but trade experts question idea’s merit

News|By Neil Moss
Canada already has a free trade agreement with Australia and New Zealand as part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

‘Data, privacy, trade’: ministers tasked with AI file contending with fast, fundamental changes

News|By Mike Lapointe
But public servants say the social impact on workers is not being properly taken into account as the use of artificial intelligence in government advances.

AFN national chief Bellegarde calls on ‘all parties’ to find peaceful resolution to rail blockades

News
'Removing the blockades doesn’t mean you surrender anything,' says Mohawk Council of Kanesatake Grand Chief Serge Otsi Simon.

‘No question’ feds have duty to start talks, says AFN’s Bellegarde, after days-long demonstrations in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

News|By Palak Mangat
One Mohawk scholar who experienced the 1990 Oka Crisis firsthand says Ottawa's offer to meet with protesters shows 'they’ve lost control of the situation, to a certain extent.'

Trade Committee Conservatives push for six additional House committees to study new NAFTA implementation bill

News|By Neil Moss
Committees would have to submit amendments for Bill C-4 to the House Committee on International Trade by April 2.

Senior Conservatives seething over Conservative Fund’s refusal to share Scheer’s $700,000 over-budget expense details with national council

News|By Abbas Rana
'If you're a donor, why would you want to give money if you can't get straight answers on what the hell's going on?’ says veteran Conservative political insider Tim Powers.
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