Canada Healthcare August 2020-August 2022

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Flu (influenza): Get your flu shot
Canada Health Act
CIHR Dementia Research Strategy
Canada Healthcare June 2015- July 2020

29 August
More than 6 drinks a week leads to major health risks, new report suggests — especially for women
A national advisory group has published new guidelines around the number of drinks consumed each week and the risk of health issues.
(CBC) Having more than six drinks per week leads to a high risk of health issues including cancer, according to new proposed guidelines published Monday.
And for women who have three or more drinks per week, the risk of health issues —including breast cancer and liver damage  — increases more steeply compared to men, research shows. Those findings are why the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), a national advisory organization, is recommending that people drink less per week.
“The key message out of this project is that when it comes to alcohol, less is better. Everyone should try to reduce their alcohol use,” said Catherine Paradis, senior research and policy analyst at CCSA and co-chair of Canada’s Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines.

23 August
Chief nursing officer appointed to help deal with health care ‘crisis’: minister
(CBC) Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos announced Tuesday the appointment of a federal chief nursing officer tasked with helping the government address what the minister called an ongoing “health care crisis.”
Duclos said Leigh Chapman, a 20-year veteran of the profession, will take on the job, which is being revived after it was scrapped roughly a decade ago.

28 April
What to do about Canada’s family doctor shortage
(CBC The Current) From British Columbia to rural Nova Scotia, Canadians across the country are struggling to find family doctors. Matt Galloway speaks with Camille Currie, who recently lost her family physician, about how she’s dealing with the shortage. We also speak with family physician Dr. Greg Stewart and Dr. Brady Bouchard, president of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, about why there’s a shortage, and what to do about it.

The Current Wednesday April 27, 2022
Could Denmark offer the solutions to Canada’s elder care crisis?
Where do you want to spend the last years of your life? Most Canadians say they want to age in place at home. But as our population ages, the support systems aren’t there. And the pandemic has further exposed the cracks in Canada’s long term care homes. a trip to Denmark, where elder care looks very different and could perhaps provide a model for us here.
The House of Generations: A new housing experiment in the welfare state’s Denmark
The House of Generations, which has recently been completed in the city of Aarhus, is an example of a new housing experiment in Denmark. A building that brings together generations in homes that suit the residents’ different and individual needs, while at the same time there are joint activities and functions available.

10 April
Freeland’s budget leaves out a number of major Liberal campaign promises
It’s a noticeably thinner budget that left some of the Liberal Party’s major 2021 election promises on the cutting room floor. A number of those commitments — most notably more money for health care, mental health and long-term care, and more support for seniors — were slated to roll out starting in this fiscal year.
Freeland’s budget projects just $1 million in new spending on long-term care beyond the 2021-2022 fiscal year. In the 280-page document, there’s only one brief mention of LTCs.
[Armine Yalnizyan, one of the country’s lead progressive economists and an Atkinson Fellow on the Future of Workers and] a strong advocate for the national child care plan the government eventually implemented, said she was most troubled by a gaping hole in the government’s plan for the “care economy” — a sector she said is in “chaos” after a debilitating pandemic left the country grappling with massive labour shortages in health care, child care and long-term care.
… While the budget allocates billions in new spending to rein in a hot housing market and help with the transition to a cleaner economy, it was all but silent on a major election promise: billions of dollars to support the country’s long-term care system, which has been particularly challenged by COVID-19.
… During the election, the party promised $3.2 billion for the provinces and territories to hire 7,500 new family doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners starting in this fiscal year.
It was money earmarked to expand access to primary care in a country where, according to StatsCan data, 14.5 per cent of the population — about 4.6 million people — say they do not have a regular health care provider.
… Beyond the pre-planned yearly increase to the transfer — and a plan to implement some sort of dental program — the government hasn’t allocated any additional funds this fiscal year to the health care system.
The dental care program — which will cost about $5.3 billion over five years and some $1.7 billion for every year after that — is a budget line-item but there isn’t a plan yet to implement it.

25 March
Ottawa commits $2-billion in new health transfers to help provinces, territories clear backlogs
The federal government will provide $2-billion in new federal health transfers to provinces and territories to help clear backlogs for surgery, medical procedures and diagnostics that the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened.
The one-time top-up is proposed in Bill C-17, tabled by the government in the House of Commons on Friday. Speaking at the University of Ottawa, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the pandemic has delayed an estimated 700,000 operations and other medical procedures. He said the money will help address the backlogs, such as cancer and heart surgery, as well as hip replacements.
Ottawa, Maritime provinces to spend $16.1-million on health research
Without reform, increased spending on health care will only provide temporary relief
The new money would be provided to provinces and territories on a per capita basis. Ontario would receive the largest sum, at $775.5-million, followed by Quebec at $450-million, British Columbia at $272.4-million and Alberta at $232.3-million.

24 February
Quebec’s Medicago COVID-19 vaccine approved for use by Health Canada
(CTV) The first made-in-Canada COVID-19 vaccine, which is also the first plant-based vaccine, has been officially approved by Health Canada.
The unique formulation by Quebec City-based Medicago appeared Thursday morning in the federal agency’s list of federally approved vaccines. Health Canada later put out a statement explaining its findings.
The company’s vaccine is known as Covifenz, and a two-dose regimen has been authorized for use in people aged 18 to 64.
The clinical trials showed the Medicago vaccine was “71 per cent effective against symptomatic infection and 100 per cent effective against severe disease caused by COVID-19,” Health Canada wrote.

28 January
Weighing up new draft standards proposed for long-term care facilities
(CBC The Current) Draft national standards for long-term care homes were released Thursday, in response to the shortcomings laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic. We talk to Dr. Samir Sinha, who chaired the committee that drafted the proposed standards; and André Picard, a health columnist with the Globe and Mail and author of Neglected No More -The Urgent Need to Improve the Lives of Canada’s Elders in the Wake of a Pandemic

19 January
Testing vaccinated air travellers on arrival is pandemic theatre at the border
The plan announced on Nov. 30 was that all travellers, with the exception of those arriving from the U.S., would be required to be tested on arrival. But that promise (as with a handful of others offered up by the federal government during this pandemic) never made it past the aspirational stage, so a random sampling of vaccinated arrivals are being tested at airports across the country every day. Globe reporter Marieke Walsh asked the federal government for updated numbers on just how many molecular tests are being administered to vaccinated, asymptomatic people with no known exposure to the virus, but she did not receive a clear answer.
When pressed on the issue Monday, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the federal government has no plans to ramp down the program, citing “great concern” about Omicron and unspecific worsening conditions involving the variant around the world. He also noted that the resources the federal government is using to test air travellers upon arrival are separate from those being tapped by provincial governments (though little is stopping the federal government from simply allocating those resources to the premiers). What he did not say, however, and really could not say with much confidence, is that evidence and data support the continued use of arrival testing at the expense of additional supports for the provinces – just as this government could not say that evidence and data supported its now defunct chaotic, three-day hotel quarantine program for arriving air passengers, and still cannot cite data or evidence for its policy that allows those flying in from the United States to skip quarantine while they wait for their results if they are randomly selected for an arrival test.

17 January
Paxlovid, Pfizer’s oral COVID-19 pill, approved in Canada
Health Canada gave its approval on Monday, making Paxlovid the country’s first oral COVID-19 treatment that can be taken at home.
Paxlovid can be given to adults 18 and older who are positive for COVID-19 and are experiencing mild or moderate illness, and who are at high risk of becoming more seriously ill, Health Canada said.

15 January
With hospitals overwhelmed, can Canada overhaul health care for the long term?
(CBC The House) A key question in the debate over a potential solution is the role of the federal government. Over the past two years, provinces have consistently asked for Ottawa to boost its health-care transfer to provinces — up to 35 per cent of costs versus the current 22 per cent.
“I think that it’s a good time for the federal government to exert itself more strongly in the health space, and we do need more investments,” said [former federal health minister Jane] Philpott.
But she cautioned that there is a need for other reform as well, because “you can’t keep throwing more money at doing things the same way we’ve always done.
“People know how much care is needed in hospitals, but we also need to spend in places like home care and mental health and primary care,” she added.

5 January
Experts are hopeful the Omicron wave will be short, but fear for health care capacity continues
Case counts are soaring and hospitalizations are rising. But things are very different now than they were in March 2020.
(Maclean’s) Omicron has burst the New Year’s bubble. In Ontario, as students and teachers prepared to move returned to online learning online, Durham Region’s paramedic union revealed that the suburban area had posted multiple “Code Zeros,” meaning no ambulances were available, while Niagara Health is temporarily shuttering its Fort Erie urgent care centre because of the twin pressures of new admissions and staff shortages. In British Columbia, provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, warned that businesses should prepare for the possibility that a third of their staff could be absent due to the virus and in St. John’s, outpatient appointments at its main rehabilitation hospital were cancelled due to an outbreak. 
As case numbers continue to skyrocket, many of the basic restrictions first seen 22 months ago are coming back. But for those muttering that we’ve been thrown back to the beginning of this pandemic, experts point out that the situation is vastly different now thanks to vaccines, which for most people turn what can be a serious medical problem into a relatively mild illness.


5 December
How nurse practitioners are bridging the gap between family doctors and the ER
(CBC radio) Nurse practitioners, or NPs, are registered nurses who have completed additional training, education and nursing experience. It enables them to diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medication and do other tasks similar to a doctor that a regular registered nurse cannot.
Nurse practitioner-led clinics are also a relatively new option for those living in British Columbia. The Axis clinic opened in September 2020, and is one of just three in the province.
… Nurse practitioners became a regulated profession in 1997. As of 2019, there were a total of 6,159 nurse practitioners in Canada, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), with the designation seeing an 8.1-per-cent growth rate from 2015 to 2019, making it the fastest growing sub-group of nurses.
According to CIHI, nurse practitioners have “full hospital privileges” in Ontario, Manitoba, B.C., the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, which allow them to admit, treat and discharge hospital patients. They don’t have those privileges in Quebec and are restricted in the other provinces.
Those differences are due to factors like population, burden of disease and how each region’s health services are designed overall, said Babita Gupta, CIHI’s program lead for health workforce information.
But she also noted that Quebec has been looking into how to expand the role of NPs in the province in the coming years.

3-4 November
Patient information system back online at Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s
Central Health staff payment was impacted by IT outage
(CBC) …the information system — called Meditech — was brought back online Thursday morning.
But the system only has information from before last weekend, and will need to be updated.
Meditech had been down since Saturday, when Newfoundland and Labrador’s health-care system was hit by a debilitating cyberattack that took down much of the IT infrastructure.
Cyberattack confirmed as cause of health-care disruptions in N.L.

14 October
How a failed deal with China to produce a made-in-Canada COVID-19 vaccine wasted months and millions
Chinese vaccine company seized, deleted half of Fifth Estate interview with top executive
(CBC) Government documents obtained by The Fifth Estate show that Canadian officials wasted months waiting for a proposed vaccine to arrive from China for further testing and spent millions upgrading a production facility that never made a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) signed an agreement with Tianjin-based CanSino Biologics in early May 2020 to “fast-track the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine in Canada for emergency pandemic use.”
The CanSino vaccine, which had been created by the scientific research arm of China’s military, was to be shipped to Canada for human trials that May. If successful, the vaccine was to be manufactured at a temporary facility in Montreal that the NRC had committed $44 million to upgrade.
To this day, no vaccines have been produced at that NRC facility.
In August 2020, Trudeau also announced that a new NRC lab in Montreal would be producing two million doses a month by mid-2021.
That has also not happened. According to the NRC, vaccines will not be produced there until 2022, at the earliest.
The NRC has said the U.S.-based vaccine developer Novavax will be its new partner for this facility, but Health Canada has not approved its vaccine yet.
The National Research Council of Canada is adding two manufacturing facilities for vaccines at its campus in Montreal. One will make vaccines for use in clinical trials and the other will produce vaccines for public use.

6 October
Federal public servants, RCMP and air and rail travellers must be vaccinated by month’s end, Trudeau says
All would-be travellers must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 30 to board planes, trains or marine vessels
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled his government’s mandatory vaccine policy today. …
To bolster stalled vaccination rates, the federal government will require all of its employees in the “core public administration” and the RCMP to be fully vaccinated or to apply for a medical or religious exemption by the end of the month.
Federal contractors, like cleaning staff, must also be fully vaccinated to gain access to government buildings. The estimated 267,000 employees covered by this policy must report their vaccination status by Oct. 29.
Unvaccinated employees will be barred from going to work, either in person or remotely, and they will be put on administrative leave and denied pay. A senior official said these employees will not qualify for employment insurance (EI) benefits.

3 October
I’m a pediatric brain surgeon and I’m concerned about the impact of delayed diagnoses on my patients due to COVID-19
Dr. Sheila Singh, Professor of Surgery, Neurosurgeon, Scientist, Director of Cancer Research Centre, McMaster University
(The Conversation) Since the spring of 2020, it’s almost as if there were no other health problem but COVID-19. While in the foreground we’ve been assiduously washing our hands, wearing our masks, keeping our distance and getting our vaccines, the drumbeat of other serious health problems has continued as steadily as ever.

15 September
Canada: Alberta healthcare system on verge of collapse as Covid cases and anti-vax sentiments rise
(The Guardian) A province that has long boasted of its loose coronavirus restrictions has also been the site of North America’s highest caseloads

14 September
COVID-19 hospital protests ‘a morale blow’ to Canada’s exhausted health-care workers
More than a year after pots and pans were clattering to honour Canadian health-care workers amid the fight against COVID-19, throngs of anti-vaxxers are now protesting vaccine passports at their workplaces.
As a result, the demonstrations have led to patients wading through crowds of anti-vaxxers, and at times provided a challenge for paramedics to find safe passage to transport them.
The protests have occurred across the country, and have been expected to take place throughout Monday afternoon with hospitals in 10 provinces listed as potential protest sites.
The most recent protests are being organized by a group called Canadian Frontline Nurses in an effort to stand up to the “tyrannical measures and government overreach” of the most recent public health measures.

12 September
By Tyler Dawson
Nurses who attended anti-COVID-measure rally in D.C. in January helping organize cross-country events in Canada
Kristen Nagle and Sarah Choujounian have both long been active in the protests against public-health measures during the COVID-19 pandemic
(National Post) Cross-country protests rejecting vaccine passports and COVID-19 public health measures are planned for Monday … The protests, scheduled for cities from Victoria to St. John’s and organized by a group calling itself Canadian Frontline Nurses, echo those that have rippled across Canada in recent weeks in response to government announcements that they would initiate some variety of vaccine passport system, which would limit the access unvaccinated Canadians have to public spaces.
There have been protests around the country relating to vaccine passports in recent weeks, reinvigorating a movement that had, previously, held rallies across the country condemning mask mandates and lockdown measures taken in many provinces to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Politicians, health workers denounce ‘reckless’ COVID-measure protests outside hospitals
‘It’s not right that the people tasked with keeping us safe and alive during this pandemic should be exposed to hatred, violence, fear and intimidation’

22 August
Increasing number of companies are mandating COVID-19 vaccines for their employees
(Globe & Mail) Many Canadian companies are waiting to see if provincial governments are going to pass laws requiring workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, after the federal government announced on Aug. 13 that it will soon require federal employees, and those working in federally-regulated sectors, to be fully vaccinated.
While some companies wait, others like Twitter, a social networking service with about 150 employees in Canada, says it will be a requirement for employees who decide to return to the office.
But for those considering vaccination, the decision is not always black-and-white. And everyone who is not vaccinated is not necessarily against vaccinations.
Some individuals, for example, are immunocompromised or are taking medications that suppress their immune systems, which means the vaccine may not be as effective for them.

13 August
Canada to require vaccination for air, rail and marine travellers as well as federal employees
Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra announced on Aug. 13, 2021, that the federal government will require all air, rail and boat travellers to be fully vaccinated.
Ottawa will also make vaccination mandatory for federal public servants, and said it expects employers in federally regulated industries and Crown corporations to do the same.
The announcement, made just two days before an expected federal election call on Sunday, is a departure from the previous Liberal government position, and puts pressure on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s political opponents to respond as Canada enters its fourth wave of COVID-19.

11 August
‘No doubt’ Canada now in 4th wave of COVID-19 as cases spike across much of the country
Vaccines, restrictions may ward off worst outcomes as delta spreads — but pressure on hospitals still possible

31 July
Why the delta variant is spreading COVID-19 so quickly — and what that means for Canada
Study suggests those infected may carry 1,000 times higher amount of virus
(CBC) The highly contagious variant, which was first discovered in India in late 2020, has spread around the world and now accounts for the majority of cases in Canada and various other countries.
The recent spread in the United States has led the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to recommend that Americans wear masks in areas with substantial transmission “regardless of vaccination status.”

30 July
It’s not just the smoke — as climate change prompts more wildfires, hidden health risks emerge
Scientists examining air pollution — including that produced by wildfires — study various types of emissions, but among those most commonly measured is particulate matter (PM), specifically PM 2.5.
PM 2.5 are fine particles measuring roughly 2.5 micrometres and smaller. Inhaling them can affect the lungs and heart, which can exacerbate existing health issues such as asthma or heart and lung disease.
And though the risks from smoke are among the biggest worries, there are also less-obvious health concerns such as the impact on mental health and clean water to consider.
UK Lifts Quarantine on US and EU Travellers, but not Canadians. We Have Nothing to Say?
Jeremy Kinsman
(Policy) As our countries grope for an end to what may be the worst crisis since the Second World War, the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK government, supported by the devolved government of Scotland, announced it will now open its “transatlantic routes” by removing quarantine restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers from the US. And from the EU. But not from Canada.
Vaccine nationalism and its exponentially increasing global health costs is possibly the critical international governance failure that will define historical memory of this harsh time.

28 July
Vaccine hesitancy is decreasing in Canada, but it’s too soon to celebrate
(The Conversation) Vaccine hesitancy is declining in Canada but has not disappeared. Our surveys show many of those initially less sure have been convinced. With continued targeted efforts, others can still be reached in weeks ahead.
Lower levels of educational attainment and household income remain strongly associated with reticence about the vaccine. Finding ways to reach these more marginalized Canadians will be important to everyone’s health and safety.

17 July
Liberals’ border reopening plan leaves many unanswered questions, business groups say
‘The government has made very clear that it has no intention of putting out, on this issue or frankly on many other issues, any kind of a clear coherent plan’
(National Post) On Thursday, the federal government said its aim is to allow fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents to visit Canada by mid-August, and fully vaccinated visitors from all countries by early September.

8 July
Lambda and Delta are in Canada: The five major COVID-19 variants explained
(Globe & Mail) …as [Covid-19] spread around the world,  mutated into new forms that are more quickly and easily transmitted through small water droplets in the air. Canadian health officials are most worried about variants that can slip past human immune systems because of a different shape in the spiky protein that latches onto our cells. The bigger fear is that future mutations could be vaccine-resistant, which would make it necessary to tweak existing drugs or develop a new “multivalent” vaccine that works against many types, which could take months or years.

24 June
52 Women-Led Startups Driving The Future Of HealthTech And FemTech
(Forbes) Even with the rise of FemTech startups, which are focusing on women’s healthcare—a sector that’s historically been significantly overlooked and undermined, only 3% of total HealthTech funding went to FemTech startups in 2020.
The paltry amount of funding for FemTech is particularly shocking because this sector is expected to scale to $1.07 trillion by 2026. And global healthcare spending is predicted to reach over $10 trillion by 2022.
… 10. Careteam Technologies, Founded by Alexandra T. Greenhill, MD (British Columbia, Canada)
Their flexible customizable platform enables innovative health care teams to deploy virtual care coordination and collaboration projects within and between health organizations, including the patient, family and community.

22 June
Quebec switching to green alert level on Monday: Legault
…starting Friday, people who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to gather indoors without distancing or wearing masks. As of Monday [28 June], up to 10 people from three different households will be allowed to gather indoors, while respecting measures, and the limit on backyard gatherings will be increased to 20 people. In restaurants and bars, 10 people will able to share a table inside and 20 outdoors.
Restrictions will also be relaxed around weddings and funerals. Both will now have attendance capped at 250 people, as long as they remain seated during the event. Receptions following wedding ceremonies will be limited to 25 people if indoors, and 50 people if outdoors.
The province also announced outdoor festivals can start hosting 3,500 people as of this weekend, without the need to create separate sections of 250 people.

27 May
Canada should end mandatory COVID-19 hotel quarantine for travellers: expert panel
(Global news) Among the recommendations was the discontinuation of the mandatory hotel quarantine in “government-authorized accommodations” for all air travellers coming into Canada.
The panel also made several recommendations based on the vaccination status of travellers.
They advised that travellers who are fully vaccinated should no longer need to take a pre-departure test or undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine. They would also be exempt from the earlier recommended COVID-19 test taken seven days after arrival, the panel recommended.

30 April
COVID-19 vaccine maker Providence says it’s leaving Canada after calls for more federal support go unanswered
(CBC) The head of a homegrown company behind a promising COVID-19 vaccine says he’s ready to pull his company out of Canada and take its product elsewhere after calls for more substantial federal support went unanswered.
Brad Sorenson, the CEO of Calgary-based Providence Therapeutics, told CBC News he’s had enough of the “runaround” from federal and provincial governments and he’s working with the company’s board of directors to move its operations overseas to focus on developing a vaccine for people in the southern hemisphere.

17 April
Checkpoints to return to Ottawa-Gatineau border Monday
Exceptions will be in place for people going to work, seeking medical care, transporting goods and exercising Indigenous treaty rights.

16 April
How did it come to this?
Justin Ling: We are here because politicians have ignored the core facts of the COVID-19 virus and the main strategies that will clearly fight the pandemic
(Maclean’s) Understanding more about the virus has allowed more effective strategies to come into focus: Avoid indoor gatherings whenever possible. When they can’t be avoided, have as few people indoors as possible, keep people apart from each other, make sure they mask up, and circulate air with good HEPA filters. Where possible, move people outside—and actively encourage the outdoors as an alternative for people who may ignore good public health advice.
Public health officials continue to insist washing our hands will get us out of this mess. Politicians warn us to stay indoors, avoid the outside.
Ontario’s health-care system is hanging on by a thread. Other provinces could be in a similar spot soon.
We are here, in large part, because many of our politicians have ignored the core facts of the COVID-19 virus and the main strategies that will clearly fight the pandemic.

12-14 April
Give tax breaks for masks and PPE, critics urge
Opposition critics are calling on Canada to follow the lead of countries like the United States and Australia by making work-related purchases of COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) tax-deductible.
“Full deductibility of PPE is something we need to study and see if it will help Canadians by making sure that they’re safe by making PPE a little less expensive.”
The Canada Revenue Agency says the cost of PPE can be a tax deductible medical expense for individuals — but only if they have a doctor’s prescription and a specific health condition, such as a “severe chronic respiratory ailment” or “a severe chronic immune system disregulation.”
Most over-the-counter products, such as masks, face shields and hand sanitizer, don’t qualify as tax deductions. The Finance Department says it has tried to make PPE more affordable by exempting it from federal sales tax.
COVID-19 fatigue and frustration rise across Canada as pandemic drags on (video)
From destructive protests in Montreal to defiance at an Edmonton-area church, pandemic frustration is prompting more people across Canada to disregard public health measures. Mike Armstrong reports on the challenge for health officials.
Canada facing growing radicalization risk over COVID-19 lockdowns: report
Lockdowns put in place to counter COVID-19 could pose a risk of radicalizing Canadians towards violence, as security experts warn there is a growing risk of terrorism from incels, white supremacists and anti-authority extremists.
The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians identified the growing threats from violent misogyny and violent hate groups as among the leading threats facing the country today.
The finding came in a new report that also warned the very same measures currently in place to keep Canadians safe from the ferocious spread of the virus could lead some to radicalize online.

10 April
Canada’s COVID-19 case rate tops U.S. as country continues to lag in vaccinations
The country, lacking domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity, has relied entirely on imported shots.
However, repeated delays early on from manufacturers and a competitive market have hampered Canada’s attempts to get shots into arms as quickly as possible.
Liberals approve pharmacare, basic income and long-term care standards during convention
Another 26 resolutions were also approved Saturday morning but must still go through another vote later in the day to be narrowed down to 15 and become official party policy.
Among those 26 were resolutions calling for enforceable, national standards for long-term care homes, a 10-per-cent increase in old age security for those 70 and over, and implementation of a national pharmacare program, which the Trudeau government has promised but has taken only incremental steps towards achieving.

8 April
Sociologist Bouchard says pandemic revealed hidden nature of people
People and countries like to think they are open and generous and believe in showing solidarity in a crisis but the truth is far different, says respected historian and sociologist Gérard Bouchard. Politicians need to wake up and smell the coffee.
If there’s one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has done for the planet, it is to shatter many of the myths or ideas that people have about who they are and the real nature of their countries, veteran historian and sociologist Gérard Bouchard says.
Quebec, for example, likes to think of itself as a generous society capable of great social solidarity, one that respects its seniors and has a health system that is second to none.
Much of that premise has proven to be false over the course of pandemic, with the notion of solidarity taking a particular beating now that Quebec is in the third wave of the pandemic, Bouchard argues.
… Bouchard said English Canada should have had a better pandemic track record given its myth, which is that of a moderate country of nice people who accept authority. It was not the case.
And political leaders and intellectuals in Quebec should take heed to what the pandemic revealed, from the shoddy treatment of its seniors, a weak health system and the existence of a rebellious faction of conspiracy theorists who buck the health rules.
“It’s scandalous,” Bouchard said. “This is not in accordance at all with the belief that we had. We were supposed to be a society very respectful of our old people. It does not show up in the CHSLDs.”

7 April
Nanos: Increased cynicism, confusing messaging a problem as third wave hits Canada
Canada is seeing a surge of COVID-19 infections sparked by more infectious variants, and Nanos Research’s Nik Nanos says confusing messaging may contribute to cynicism around public health guidelines.
“People put a high level of credibility and physicians, public health officials, and they trust them,” said Nanos on the latest episode of Trend Line. “The challenge is that right now what we’re seeing is different approaches in different parts of the country… it creates a certain level of confusion.”
“There has to be a new approach, because there’s a new coronavirus variant out there,” said Nanos. “It’s time for public health officials to really put a spotlight on these new variants, to put a spotlight on the fact that healthy people are at risk, younger people are at risk.”

16 March
Canada invests millions more in domestic drug development to combat COVID-19
Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says Canada must build and expand homegrown biomanufacturing facilities and develop more equipment to secure more vaccines and therapeutics to combat COVID-19.
Ottawa will contribute up to $54.2 million to KABS Laboratories and up to $13.44 million to Immune Biosolutions to expand their respective operations in Quebec.
It will also provide up to $32.7 million to Novocol Pharmeceutical of Canada for growth of its biomanufacturing facilities in Ontario.
Feds meeting with provinces to strategize on scaling up domestic vaccine capacity: LeBlanc (14 February)

5 March
Canada approves Johnson & Johnson’s 1-shot COVID-19 vaccine
(Global) Health Canada has approved Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, officials announced Friday.
The vaccine adds to Canada’s growing arsenal, becoming the fourth official shot to get Health Canada’s seal of approval, potentially enabling more Canadians to be vaccinated in the coming months. It will become the only one-dose COVID-19 vaccine available in Canada, which experts say will help accelerate immunity among the population and require fewer appointments and medical staff. It is approved in Canada for use in individuals aged 18 and older and is effective in older adults.

4 March
Pfizer won’t sign off on delaying second vaccine dose
Health Canada approved the vaccine based on a two-dose schedule, separated by 21 days.
Pfizer Canada has refused to sign off on Quebec’s plan to wait four months before administering the second dose of the company’s vaccine against COVID-19.
The province announced on Wednesday it was changing its dosing schedule , from three to four months, because it wants to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible.

23 February
Canada’s hotel quarantine program is leaky and half-baked
(Opinion Globe & Mail) …the new policy, which just came into effect this week, just might prove effective in dissuading some casual vacationers from leaving the country. But as a public-health measure – a way to “keep Canadians safe,” as citizens continue to travel for work, school or family reunification – the hotel quarantine program doesn’t appear to have been designed with actual evidence in mind.
The most obvious limitation is the length of stay: three days, enough time to process the PCR test international travellers will now be required to take upon arrival (on top of the proof of a negative test result within 72 hours of boarding the plane), but not long enough to ensure that a potential infection is caught. Various meta-analyses have pegged the incubation period of SARS-CoV-2 to be around 5 to 7 days, meaning that an exposure that occurred before departure or on the plane probably wouldn’t be caught by the PCR test at arrival, and might not cause symptoms until the traveller is given the all-clear to return home (where they must complete the remainder of their 14-day quarantine). Canadian snowbirds who received both doses of their vaccinations abroad weeks ago still have to submit to testing and pay for three days in quarantine, despite early evidence that it is extremely unlikely they will transmit the virus.
There is no comprehensive, controlled plan for moving international travellers from the airport to their quarantine hotels.

17 February
Toronto top doctor, Indigenous services minister sound alarm over COVID-19 variants
(Canadian Press) Officials expressed growing concern Wednesday over highly transmissible new COVID-19 variants taking hold in Canada’s biggest cities and in First Nation reserves across the country.

12 February
Snowbirds in pandemic hot seat with Canada’s latest travel rules
The latest rules for travellers arriving in Canada are ruffling feathers among snowbirds wintering south of the border, while those who stayed home wonder why thousands opted to travel during the pandemic.
Valorie Crooks, Canada research chair in health service geographies, said everyone has had access to the same public health information and snowbirds who flocked south “did what they felt was allowable.” “They’re viewing this as part of their life or lifestyle,” she said, noting snowbirds relocate for extended periods of time and they’re used to factoring health considerations into their decision-making.

10 February
Clinical trials begin for University of Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate
The Canadian Center for Vaccinology says the first of 108 healthy adult volunteers received injections in Halifax. The placebo-controlled study will administer two doses to each volunteer, 28 days apart.
“It’s a product of Canadian science, so it bodes well for the ability to make vaccines here. We all want to have vaccine manufacturing capacity in Canada,” said Dr. Joanne Langley, a vaccine researcher with the centre.
She said that the pace of testing is careful, as different age groups, from younger to older, receive varying doses in a process that will unfold over the next two months.

9 February
The roots of Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine shortage go back decades
(The Conversation) As of Feb. 5, Canada had administered 2.7 COVID-19 vaccination doses per 100 people compared to 61.7 for Israel and 16.2 for the United Kingdom. By contrast, Canada has signed contracts with seven different companies for a total of 234 million doses with options for tens of millions more.
To understand the problem, we need to go back to the 1980s. At that time, the government-owned Connaught Labs was producing vaccines here in Canada and decision-making was in the public realm. But Connaught was partially privatized and then finally allowed to be sold to the French company Merieux (now part of Sanofi) by the Conservative government of Brian Mulroney.
Fast forward to the 2000s, when Québec-based vaccine manufacturer IAF BioChem went through a couple of sales and ended up being owned by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
Sanofi and GSK still make vaccines in Toronto and Ste-Foy, but decisions about what vaccines to produce are not in Canadian hands.
8 February
Feds detail criteria for hotels to host travellers for mandatory COVID-19 quarantine
The conditions posted online put the government one step closer to fulfilling its late-January pledge that all passengers returning from non-essential trips abroad will have to self-isolate in a federally mandated facility for up to 72 hours at their own expense.

5 February
Canada defends decision to draw vaccines from program aimed at low- and middle-income countries
(WaPo) “Our government will never apologize for doing everything in our power to get Canadians vaccinated as quickly as possible,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said this week. “We’re focused on getting Canadians vaccinated, while making sure the rest of the world is vaccinated, too.”
Her remarks Thursday came after the Covax Facility, a global effort to source and equitably distribute coronavirus vaccines, announced its first country-by-country projections. The estimate suggested Canada could receive 1.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine by summer.

3 February
Canada the only G7 country to take vaccines from fund that helps developing countries
(Globe & Mail) Canada is the only Group of Seven country to draw on a supply of COVID-19 vaccines meant primarily for developing countries, leading to fresh charges of hoarding against a country that is already a world leader in vaccine purchases per capita.
The COVAX program pools funds from wealthier countries to help buy vaccines for themselves and for 92 low- and middle-income countries that can’t afford to buy on their own.
The COVAX program pools funds from wealthier countries to help buy vaccines for themselves and for 92 low- and middle-income countries that can’t afford to buy on their own.
The vast majority of countries receiving the first vaccine shipments from COVAX are low- and middle-income countries, according to information released Wednesday by Gavi, the vaccine alliance that is co-ordinating the program.
But Canada is among just a few rich countries exercising its options now to buy vaccines from the international group. Other wealthy countries on the list receiving the vaccines include New Zealand and Singapore. Canada’s vaccines are expected to arrive by the end of June.
Canada’s deliveries from COVAX join growing list of COVID-19 vaccine confusion
Canada got no doses at all last week, and this week is getting only 20 per cent of what was previously promised from Pfizer and 80 per cent of what had been promised from Moderna.
Provinces and territories, which in mid-January got close to vaccinating 50,000 people a day, only vaccinated 5,000 people Jan. 31.
With Novavax deal, Canada could be producing COVID-19 vaccine domestically by the fall
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says a deal has been struck with Novavax to produce its COVID-19 vaccine in Canada, but the pharmaceutical company isn’t expected to be ready to roll out doses domestically until the fall at the earliest.
The federal government has signed a “memorandum of understanding” with Novavax to pursue options to produce its COVID-19 vaccine at a new Montreal facility that is under construction.
How the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine differs from those already approved in Canada
Ottawa has tentative deal to make millions of doses of vaccine candidate in Canada
U.S.-based company Novavax has developed what’s called a recombinant protein vaccine. It says harmless copies of the coronavirus spike protein were grown in insect cells. Scientists extracted and purified the protein and then mixed in an immune-boosting adjuvant.[It] differs from the two vaccines Canadians are currently receiving to guard against the respiratory illness, primarily because of how it’s engineered to induce an immune response in the body.

29 January
Airlines suspending certain flights, Ottawa introducing quarantine hotel stays to discourage travel
Measures come as concerns about new variants of the coronavirus mount
(CBC) The prime minister said the government will soon be introducing mandatory PCR testing at the airport for people returning to Canada “as soon as possible in the coming weeks.” That’s on top of the pre-boarding test already required.
Travellers will then have to wait up to three days at a government-approved hotel for their test results, at their own expense, which Trudeau said is expected to be more than $2,000.
Transport Canada said there will be “very limited exceptions.”
Those with a negative test will then be able to finish their 14-day quarantine at home, with increased surveillance. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam added that returnees will also be swabbed on day 10.

28 January
Why you might want to start wearing better masks — even outdoors
Spread of more infectious coronavirus variants in Canada requires renewed vigilance, experts say
Whether that means finding better quality masks, doubling up on masks, or wearing them in settings we wouldn’t normally think to, experts say it’s time we step up our game.
The variants first identified in South Africa and the U.K are spreading in Canada, in some cases with no known link to travel, and have already led to devastating outbreaks in long-term care homes.
The variant discovered in the U.K., known as B117, is estimated to be at least 56 per cent more transmissible and potentially more deadly than the original coronavirus strain.
But even as COVID-19 case numbers show early signs of slowing down in Canada, experts say it’s becoming more important than ever to lower our risk of exposure as much as possible to prevent variants from taking hold here.
Canada currently recommends the use of three-layer non-medical masks with a filter layer to prevent the spread of the virus, but has not updated its recommendations since November, before the emergence of new variants.

19 January
Canada will receive zero Pfizer vaccine deliveries during last week of January
The man in charge of Canada’s coronavirus vaccine rollout logistics has confirmed that the country will not receive any Pfizer vaccine doses during the week of Jan. 25, due to delivery delays that have hit countries around the world.
“We are now seeing that our entire expected shipment is deferred for next week, and then the numbers start to pick back up in the first weeks of February,” Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin said on Tuesday.
This delay is due to the fact that Pfizer is scaling up its European manufacturing capacity – a move that officials said will impact the vaccine’s production for a “short period.”

14 January
When it comes to mental health, now more than ever, every action counts.
Kids Help Phone is just one of the many beneficiaries of Bell Let’s Talk, a wide-reaching program designed to break the silence around mental illness and support mental health all across Canada.
Whether by phone, text, mobile app, Facebook messenger, or through the website, Kids Help Phone is always open, in any moment of crisis or need.
“Anxiety, stress and depression account for more than half of what people are reaching out to us about. We’re having big dialogues around isolation, and with that, comes dialogues around grief and loss of normal life,” said Hay.
“Family stress is rippling through all our conversations, and calls about abuse have gone up around 16 per cent, which makes sense, since a lot of the services where they might have gone before are now closed.”

5 January
Coronavirus: What’s happening in Canada and around the world on Tuesday
(CBC) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that the federal government has delivered almost 500,000 vaccine doses to provinces and territories and is on track to deliver more than one million doses from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna by the end of January.
“By September, we’ll have enough doses to vaccinate every Canadian who wants a shot,” the prime minister said.
He acknowledged he was troubled by the slow pace of the vaccine rollout. While Canada already has received more than 424,050 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, only 35 per cent of those doses have been administered by the provinces, with roughly 148,000 Canadians having received a shot so far.

4 January
363 experts ask for stronger protection from airborne transmission of COVID-19
/CNW Telbec/ – 363 scientists, occupational health specialists, engineers, physicians and nurses from across Canada are calling today on the Premiers and on public health officials from the federal, provincial and territorial governments, to recognize airborne transmission of COVID-19 and to act accordingly.
In July 2020, 239 international scientists drew the attention of global health authorities to this matter. Since the publication of their letter, the World Health Organization and the Public Health Agency of Canada have begun to recognize the transmission of COVID-19 by aerosols. In practice, however, this recognition has not resulted in any significant improvement in protective measures for health workers and other essential service workers.
For complete text of letter and to sign, see Masks4Canada
André Picard: Where’s the urgency in Canada’s vaccine rollout?
“Israel is vaccinating so fast it’s running out of vaccine,” reads the headline in Monday’s Washington Post.
It’s enough to make a grown man weep, at least in Canada, where we are vaccinating so slowly that more than two-thirds of our modest vaccine stocks are sitting unused.
Since it began its vaccine rollout on Dec. 20, Israel has administered as many as 150,000 doses daily. Canada began vaccinating even earlier, on Dec. 14, but since then has immunized only 120,000 people – yes, fewer than Israel does in a day. On Monday morning, we had 300,000 doses languishing in freezers, like old bags of peas.
Both countries are prioritizing health care workers and elders, but only Israel is doing so with a sense of urgency. At least two million of its nine million residents will be immunized by the end of January.
The plan in this country – at least on paper – is to inoculate four million people by the end of March, or roughly 11 per cent of citizens. Israel has already surpassed that percentage in 10 days.
Alberta politicians pay the price for overseas trips, defiance of COVID-19 restrictions
In the coming days, Kenney’s government has promised to revisit lockdown rules imposed in early December to try to stem the spread of COVID-19, including a ban on social gatherings. Alberta was a national leader in the first wave, but cases surged to dangerous levels in the fall. The numbers forced the government to double-bunk intensive care patients and to begin assembling a field tent hospital on the University of Alberta campus.

2 January
André Picard: How will the pandemic end? Not with a moment of triumph we’ll all remember, but with a slow whimper we’ll soon forget
Don’t expect civilization to return to normal in 2021 with a V-Day-like emotional catharsis. Focus on the small signs of hope – and the things we can do to prevent anything like this from happening again

30 December
And answer was there none.
How Canadians will know when it’s their turn to get vaccinated
It’s up to each individual province and territory in Canada to decide how the COVID-19 vaccine will be administered. But generally, they are following the recommendations put forward by the federal government’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization.
With the recent announcement that Health Canada has approved Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, the second being made available to the public, Canadians are likely wondering when it will be their turn to get inoculated.
But with the country currently in the first phase of vaccine rollout, that’s still unclear, with much depending on what they do and where they live.
For the first phase of the vaccine rollout plan, NACI advised that initial doses should go to these four groups:
Residents and staff of long-term care homes.
Adults 70 and older, beginning with people 80 and older, then decreasing by five-year increments to 70 as supply becomes available.
Health-care workers, including all those who work in clinical settings, and personal support workers who come in direct contact with patients.
Adults in Indigenous communities, where infection can have disproportionate consequences.

26-27 December
‘We are not prepared’: The flaws inside Public Health that hurt Canada’s readiness for COVID-19
By Grant Robertson
(Globe & Mail) When Canada unplugged support for its pandemic alert system last year, it was a symptom of bigger problems inside the Public Health Agency. Experienced scientists were pushed aside, expertise was eroded, and internal warnings went unheeded, which hindered the department’s response to COVID-19
Canada once operated a robust pandemic early warning system and employed a public-health doctor based in China who could report back on emerging problems. But it had largely abandoned those international strategies over the past five years, and was no longer as plugged-in.
By late February, Ottawa seemed to be taking the official reports from China at their word, stating often in its own internal risk assessments that the threat to Canada remained low. But inside the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), rank-and-file doctors and epidemiologists were growing increasingly alarmed at how the department and the government were responding.
“The team was outraged,” one public-health scientist told a colleague in early April, in an internal e-mail obtained by The Globe and Mail, criticizing the lack of urgency shown by Canada’s response during January, February and early March. “We knew this was going to be around for a long time, and it’s serious.”
… a series of documents obtained by The Globe during the past four months, from inside the department and through numerous Access to Information requests, show the problems that weakened Canada’s pandemic readiness run deeper than originally thought. Pleas from the international health community for Canada to take outbreak detection and surveillance much more seriously were ignored by mid-level managers inside the department. A new federal pandemic preparedness plan – key to gauging the country’s readiness for an emergency – was never fully tested. And on the global stage, the agency stopped sending experts to international meetings on pandemic preparedness, instead choosing senior civil servants with little or no public-health background to represent Canada at high-level talks, The Globe found.

23 December
Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines have been approved in Canada. Here’s what you need to know about them
(CBC) The first vaccine, co-developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, was approved by Health Canada on Dec. 9, and the first shots were delivered in Quebec and Ontario on Dec. 14.
Health Canada announced Moderna‘s vaccine was approved on Dec. 23 “after a thorough, independent review of the evidence” on safety, efficacy and quality requirements, officials said in a release.
The two vaccines are among several that have been pre-ordered by the Canadian government.

10 December
Charlie Mayer: Privatized Connaught Labs is still going strong
Privatization saved Connaught, which is today the Connaught campus of Sanofi Pasteur, and is the largest biotechnology facility in Canada
On Sept. 22, 2020, Sanofi Pasteur announced it had signed an agreement with the federal government, in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline, to supply up to 72 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine in 2021. This announcement highlighted the fact that the Connaught campus would be providing process and analytical development along with clinical manufacturing in support of that effort.

9 December
The Long Haul
Covid-19 was originally thought to be a quick disease. The virus came, did its damage, and, for those who survived, was gone in a month or so. But new research suggests that it can linger much longer than anyone thought. These seven survivors are living proof
(Toronto Life) Who she is: Amara Possian, 31
“I returned to work in mid-June, just two or three days a week, and quickly noticed some concerning symptoms. I was unable to come up with ideas or think straight. I’m a pretty good proofreader, but one time, I reviewed an email and thought it was ready to send. Then I reread it 10 minutes later and caught so many glaring mistakes. Sometimes I would read over something I just wrote and there would be an entire chunk of a sentence missing. Or I would message somebody on Slack about something pretty straightforward, and when it became clear they weren’t understanding me, I would read back what I wrote and realize it made no sense. It was really unsettling.”

26-27 November
Trudeau turns to the military to help with COVID-19 vaccine distribution
Trudeau said Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the current chief of staff to the Canadian Joint Operations Command and a former commander of the NATO mission in Iraq, will head up vaccine logistics and operations within a new branch of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
Canada is largely beholden to Pfizer manufacturing plants in the U.S. and abroad for its supply of the vaccine because our country doesn’t have the capacity to produce it. The vaccine uses groundbreaking messenger RNA technology, or mRNA, which essentially directs cells in the body to make proteins to prevent or fight disease.
The federal government didn’t secure domestic manufacturing rights for the AstraZeneca product, which was co-developed by scientists at Oxford University. That vaccine, which uses a more traditional vaccination platform, is easier to produce.
Other countries — including Western nations like Germany, France and Italy and middle-income countries like Mexico and Argentina — will produce the vaccine domestically.
3 million Canadians could be vaccinated in early 2021, but feds warn of ‘logistical challenges’
Health Canada regulators are reviewing clinical trial data, the government has signed purchase agreements for promising vaccine candidates and public health officials have procured needles and syringes for a future deployment, officials said. But top civil servants still don’t know how and when Canadians will be vaccinated due to a number of uncertainties.
Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, said the federal government will leverage the Canadian Armed Forces and an existing influenza vaccine distribution network to help with deployment.
Andrew Coyne: Canada’s at the back of the COVID-19 vaccine line. But it’s not because they aren’t made here
One reason that we seem to be later to take delivery: we were later to place our orders. Canada didn’t make its first purchase for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines until Aug. 5; AstraZeneca’s, in late September; in either case, weeks after other countries. Why? Writing in Maclean’s in August, University of Ottawa epidemiologist and law professor Amir Attaran offered one explanation: “Because the Trudeau government dithered. When our closest allies put their money down and placed orders for over a billion vaccine doses, our government failed to keep up.”

24 November
Trudeau warns COVID-19 vaccine will come later to Canada than other countries
‘One of the things to remember is Canada no longer has any domestic production capacity for vaccines’
…he expects to see them in the first quarter of next year. But he said the first doses from the assembly line will go to the countries where the vaccine is made.
With promising news from several vaccine manufacturers, in recent weeks officials in those countries have said their citizenry could start receiving vaccines as early as December.

21 November
What you need to know as we get closer to a COVID-19 vaccine
The potential for a vaccine brings with it hope that the pandemic will end, but naturally raises questions
(CBC) Dr. Howard Njoo, the country’s deputy chief public health officer, has said that if the vaccines are approved by Health Canada, he’s hopeful that the majority of Canadians could be vaccinated by the end of 2021.
But amid the optimism, a new vaccine naturally raises lots of questions, from how it works to who will get it first in a country of more than 35 million people.

29 September
Feds announce plan to buy 7.9 million rapid COVID tests as Health Canada defends slow response
(CBC) The federal government today announced a plan to buy 7.9 million point-of-care COVID-19 tests in the months ahead — and defended a Health Canada regulatory process that has left the country with few rapid testing devices to deploy as cases mount.
To date, the vast majority of tests have been done at public health clinics, with samples then sent to laboratories for analysis — a process that can take days.
A point-of-care test could be administered by trained professionals in other settings. The molecular test Canada is looking to buy — the ID NOW — can produce results from a nasal swab in as little as 13 minutes.
While Canada has announced this purchase from a well-regarded U.S. firm, the test itself has not yet been approved by Health Canada for distribution. [Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita] Anand said she couldn’t state when these devices will be deployed to provinces like Ontario and Quebec, where hours-long lines have been an ongoing concern.
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has so far approved dozens of rapid testing devices, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said such tests would only be rolled out in Canada once regulators here are sure they are safe to use.

8 September
Beyond long-term care: The benefits of seniors’ communities that evolve on their own
(The Conversation) The global COVID-19 pandemic has shown Canadians that we need to think differently about how we support older adults. The media and all levels of government have focused heavily on long-term care, and rightly so. However, the vast majority of older adults live at home and plan to remain there for as long as possible.
In a July 2020 Home Care Ontario survey of older adults, 93 per cent of the 1,000 respondents indicated their desire to stay in their own home. No one identified long-term care as part of their future housing plans. Simply put, although necessary for some, long-term care is not where most people choose to live.
It had been clear well before the pandemic that long-term care is costly and woefully inadequate to meet the needs of Canada’s aging population. It is crucial to expand the conversation to consider what other housing solutions exist and how they can be implemented.
Essential to the success and acceptability of any housing alternative is the need for older adults to maintain a sense of autonomy and independence, be actively engaged in decisions affecting themselves and their community and have the opportunity to build social networks that can ultimately support one another.

4 – 5 August
Ottawa frees up $3.3-billion for provincial efforts to mitigate COVID-19 spread
The federal government is moving ahead with plans to help provinces and territories shore up their defences against COVID-19 by freeing up billions of dollars to make schools and hospitals more pandemic resistant and expand outdoor public spaces.
Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna unveiled details of the plan Wednesday, which followed weeks of talks between Ottawa and provincial and territorial governments — as well as years of criticism about the slow pace of the Liberals’ infrastructure spending.
Canada signs COVID-19 vaccine supply deals with Pfizer and Moderna
Canada is negotiating deals with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and U.S.-based biotech firm Moderna to secure millions of doses of their experimental COVID-19 vaccines, in case either is approved for wide-scale use.
But Procurement Minister Anita Anand won’t say yet how much Canada is spending or how many doses of either vaccine candidate Canada will get because she says Canada is in talks with other domestic and international firms to secure doses of their experimental vaccines as well.
Physical distancing, mask-wearing could be in place for 2-3 years even with vaccine, Tam warns
COVID-19 vaccine won’t be a ‘silver bullet,’ chief public health officer says
(CBC) Dr. Theresa Tam used her briefing on Tuesday in Ottawa to temper expectations about the speed and effectiveness of a vaccine. She reiterated the importance of physical distancing, proper hand hygiene and mask-wearing, and attempted to dissuade any notion that a vaccine will make life go back to the way it was in a couple of months.Tam said it’s unclear at this stage how effective a vaccine will be. She said key questions remain about the degree and duration of immunity a vaccine will provide, the dosage that will be needed and whether it will prevent people from getting infected altogether or simply prevent severe illness requiring hospitalization.
There are more than 166 vaccines at various stages of preclinical and clinical (human) testing across the globe right now, the World Health Organization says. U.S. and European experts say under an optimistic scenario, the first of those vaccines could complete testing and get approval for distribution next year.
Tam warned that even once a vaccine is tested and deemed to be both safe and effective, there will be challenges with distributing it widely to those who need it.

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