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Opinion

Canada needs a proactive pandemic innovation strategy

•Knowing that we will face pandemic risks from well-understood viral families, such as influenza and coronavirus, we could have proactively invented anti-viral drugs that prevent and treat the diseases they cause. Yet no one invested in these efforts. •We are not waiting for others to give us a green light to move ahead: catalyzed by scientific leadership and seed investment from the University of North Carolina and the SGC in 2019, we are creating an international network of interlocked non-profits, VIMI (Viral Interruption Medicines Initiative) in Canada and READDI (Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Discovery Initiative) internationally.

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, pictured Jan. 28, 2020, on the Hill, recently applauded Ontario researchers for not only rapidly isolating the COVID-19 virus but sharing it openly with the world. He tweeted: 'Open science is key to global efforts to treat and prevent the spread of COVID-19.' The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

The COVID-19 crisis points to a hole in Canada’s pandemic preparedness. In the wake of the 2003 SARS crisis, Canada created the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to strengthen and coordinate responses to public health threats. PHAC has exercised national leadership to safeguard Canadians during COVID-19. But responsiveness is not enough. For research and development, Canada needs a proactive pandemic innovation strategy in anticipation of pandemics.

Ottawa mayor calls on Trudeau to send cash to people with disabilities, pass Bill C-17

News|By Peter Mazereeuw 11:54 AM ET
'To date, there have not been direct attempts by the federal government to address the concerns of many Canadians with disabilities who have few alternatives,' Mayor Jim Watson wrote in the July 14 letter.

Wernick’s warning of political violence reflects increasing polarization, say politicos, experts

There’s been a normalization of hateful language online, says terrorism expert Jessica Davis, who noted a ‘Trudeau effect’ in the extreme animosity voiced by some online.

Hybrid summer circuit in the cards as politicians try to strike balance between public health and politics

'The summer’s often the time to strengthen your fortifications or build up your beachheads and it’s harder to do this year,' says Tim Powers.

Trudeau’s penchant for political appointees shows lack of appreciation for ambassadors’ work: former senior diplomat

News|By Neil Moss
'[Trudeau] neglects the fact that you need experience and competent people,' says Guy Saint-Jacques, a former Canadian ambassador to China from 2012 to 2016.

A look at rookie MP Sloan’s underdog leadership campaign

Team Sloan is led by former Scheer staffer Paula Iturri, and includes Ashley Brown as tour director and Daniel Paolini, who’s currently a member of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party executive.

Prison watchdog has ‘grave’ concerns that CSC rates Indigenous, Black inmates as higher risk

Disproportionate number of Black and Indigenous offenders placed in higher security institutions by the CSC 'doesn’t add up,' says Sen. Bernard.

More nuanced, test-focused approach needed to reopen Canada-U.S. border, say experts

News|By Neil Moss
A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers has called for Canada and the United States to 'immediately craft a comprehensive framework for phased reopening of the border.'

Canada, host countries should bolster efforts to mitigate COVID-19 spread in ‘displaced communities,’ says refugee advocacy group

News|By Beatrice Paez
'It is hard to imagine a crisis—even one half its dimension—where the international community had done so little to rally together,' says Refugees International.

Ex-Liberal MPs running in next election eagerly await start of nomination process

News|By Abbas Rana
The Liberal Party is consulting MPs and grassroots members to determine rules for candidate nominations in held and unheld ridings for the next election, says spokesman Braeden Caley.
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