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Opinion

Don’t let privacy concerns complicate necessary data sharing to combat public health threats

Concerns over privacy have often complicated the timeliness and sharing of data needed to assess risk for adverse health outcomes, and privacy zealots in Canada have challenged public health innovations.

A man wearing a protective mask walks past the Bank of Canada Museum in Ottawa on March 27. Communicable diseases do not respect administrative boundaries, so effective surveillance depends on a national strategy to ensure that data enables timely and accurate disease estimation and identification of those at risk of infections or collateral health impacts, write Shaza Fadel, Sara Allin, and Natasha Crowcroft. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Health surveillance systems are key cornerstones to protecting populations from emerging public health threats. In Canada, these systems fall under shared responsibilities between local, federal, and provincial and territorial (FPT) agencies. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) creates the common elements to manage this system within a national framework to standardize data collection and voluntary sharing across provinces and territories. Provinces and territories have a lot of flexibility to implement their own policy interventions and public-health measures based on their risk assessment and context.

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Julie Payette resigns as governor general after investigation into workplace harassment at Rideau Hall, Trudeau says her replacement will be named in ‘due course’

Apologizing for 'tensions' that became public over the last months, Julie Payette said that 'we all experience things differently, but we should always strive to do better, and be attentive to one another’s perceptions.'

Correctional Service ‘abdicating’ responsibility in Quebec woman’s murder, say critics of response to internal report

The killing of Marylène Lévesque by a parolee in January 2020 was a ‘catastrophic failure, which is tantamount to a wrongful death,’ says prison watchdog Ivan Zinger.

Former innovation minister Bains was most-lobbied minister in 2020

Mr. Bains, who was lobbied 214 times in 2020, took the top spot from the 2019 leader, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau.

Parties ramping up candidate nominations across Canada as election threat looms

Quebec is expected to once again be a key electoral battleground, spurred on by the Bloc Québécois’ resurgence in 2019, with multiple candidates already nominated in three target ridings.

Conservative caucus votes to expel Sloan, former contender for party leadership

News|By Beatrice Paez
He faced potential expulsion last year during the leadership race over comments he made that appeared to question whether chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam, who is of Asian descent, was a pawn of China.

Could Parliament Hill withstand a Capitol Building-style insurrection?

News|By Alice Chen
'I hope that intelligence and security officials in Canada learned after what they saw in the U.S. and can make sure something like that does not happen here,' says Ottawa-turned-Washington correspondent Richard Madan.

‘Democracy has prevailed,’ Biden tells nation as Trump leaves office

News|By Palak Mangat
‘The rise of political extremism, white supremacy, and domestic terrorism [is one] that we must confront and will defeat,’ said U.S. President Joe Biden in his first address.

Post controversy, Green Party executive director position remains unfilled

News|By Alice Chen
The Green Party's former executive director resigned in October, but a public search for a permanent replacement has yet to begin.

Updated mandate letters allow Grits to showcase pandemic fight without being attacked for abandoning promises, say politicos

News|By Neil Moss
The new mandate letters add new priorities to the instructions given to cabinet ministers in the 2019 mandate letters.
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