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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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Liberals and Conservatives can’t even agree on their divisions over release of Winnipeg lab documents

Government House Leader Mark Holland says releasing any sensitive Winnipeg lab documents could compromise ongoing investigations, and could potentially could endanger the lives of Canadian security intelligence officers.

O’Toole attack on Guilbeault an appeal to blue collar class, says strategists

News|By Alice Chen
The tone and style of the Jan. 11 video is an example of Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives 'ramping up,' and 'doubling down' on their rhetoric, says NDP strategist Cameron Holmstrom.

Canada boosts Ukrainian military training mission, but yet to match Kyiv’s ask for lethal weapons, sanctions

News|By Neil Moss
Canada's commitment to its Ukrainian training mission will increase by 60 soldiers to 260 'within days,' and it could increase over time to 400.

In a NAFTA renegotiation team reunion, Freeland’s Finance Department adds Steve Verheul

News|By Neil Moss
Widely praised across the partisan spectrum, Steve Verheul has been called an 'architect' of Canada's trade policy.

‘Cacophony of views’ in national media landscape may not serve viewers, says former CBC bureau chief

News|By Ian Campbell
On a recent episode of the Herle Burly podcast, veteran former journalist and political strategist Elly Alboim weighed in on the state of the national media.

Back in business: House Committees primed to play catch up with busy agendas

‘We’re definitely trying to catch up in an ever-changing period of time for everyone,’ says NDP Whip Rachel Blaney of upcoming House committee work.

Ukraine envoy ‘confident’ talks will lead to Canada meeting requests as Russian threat looms

News|By Neil Moss
As the Canadian government is believed to be preparing a decision on Ukraine's three requests for assistance, Kyiv's top diplomat in Ottawa says 'intensive communication' has taken place at the highest levels.

Reconciliation ‘has no end date,’ says GG Simon who hopes for a future of healing in Canada

Feature|By Christopher Guly
Mary Simon wants to make a significant impact on reconciliation, wants Arctic communities to be healthy and vibrant, and wants to do her part to help fight climate change. It's ambitious stuff.

RCMP union tours Alberta as province explores new police force, contract policing increasingly under microscope

News|By Mike Lapointe
Contract policing arrangements between the Mounties and a number of provinces and municipalities have come increasingly under review by policymakers in recent years.
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