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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.

Liberal MP Lamoureux continues prolific speaking record, raising opposition ire

‘I’m living the dream,’ says Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux of his regular House of Commons presence. With more than 550 House interventions so far this Parliament, he’s second only to the Speaker.

Feds misled House Defence Committee in 2019 on status of peacekeeping pledges

News|By Neil Moss
'It's a bald-faced lie if they actually said they did and didn't,' says Conservative Defence Committee vice-chair James Bezan of the non-registration of the promised 200-member Quick Reaction Force.

Canada can increase pressure on NATO-ally Turkey to calm Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Armenian envoy

Anahit Harutyunyan says new information proves Canadian drones are being used by Turkish-backed Azerbaijani fighters, justifying an ‘indefinite’ arms ban on Turkey.

‘It’s an ongoing battle’: Bob Rae’s push to move the needle on human rights at the UN

News|By Neil Moss
'You don't stop trying to find ways of resolving differences in opinion, but I do think in this day and age you need a whole range of ways of expressing concern and trying to move opinion,' says Bob Rae.

Infrastructure bank’s $10-billion growth plan raises hope of green bond push in Canada

Green bonds are fixed-income financial instruments usually used to secure funding for sustainable infrastructure projects.

Violence directed at Indigenous fishers in Nova Scotia leaves ‘black eye’ on Canada, says Mi’kmaq Senator, as he and rookie Mi’kmaq Grit MP urge long-term solution

News|By Palak Mangat
'I think the current route is a dead end, so if they continue to bang their heads against a wall, everyone’s going to get a headache,' says Independent Nova Scotia Senator Dan Christmas.

House vote looms over Conservative motion that could trigger federal election, as Liberals double down

News|By Palak Mangat
Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez dodged questions if the government was responsible for setting the stage for a stand-off that could trigger an election, saying the question should be asked of the Conservatives.

‘Six systemic crises’ confronting Canada, and politicians, policy-makers, health-care professionals need ‘systems thinking’ to tackle them, says public policy expert

News|By Mike Lapointe
Global Brief magazine editor Irvin Studin says politicians and policy-makers' thinking is 'too small, it’s too linear, it’s too path dependent, and it looks increasingly absurd as these systemic crises.'

Canada needs a new ‘fiscal anchor’ and Freeland needs to share financial plans, says PBO Giroux

Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux says he's found it 'much more difficult to get information out of the minister’s officer' since Parliament returned with Chrystia Freeland in charge of the nation's finances.
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