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Results: 1 - 15 of 70
View Marc Miller Profile
Lib. (QC)
I can confirm with the member that I'm on the committee and participating fully. I'll leave it at that. We have a meeting today, and I will be updating members on the issues. I'd be prepared to update you on the issues with respect to our engagements in indigenous communities and our reaction and preparation for coronavirus, which is a very serious issue.
I would preface my following comment with the fact that I don't think that the introduction of UNDRIP and the work the government and the NDP did on it, fostered by and put forward by Romeo Saganash, is storytelling. I think it's very important. It's very important for Canadians to realize that.
With respect to coronavirus, indigenous communities are more vulnerable for a number of reasons: historic socio-economic gaps, overcrowding and lack of access to clean and safe drinking water. These are all issues that we as a government on a long-term basis—and on a short-term basis with respect to the long-term water advisories that we are committed to remove by March 2021.... There are also systemic issues with respect to cultural approaches with medical facilities and health care, and issues with access and remoteness. These are all factors that have contributed, for example, to the unacceptable rates of tuberculosis in those communities.
We have our experience from the H1N1 virus. I have a dedicated team that is working on surge capacity. I'd absolutely be more than glad to update this committee or anyone willing to engage with me on this issue. Foremost, it's to indigenous communities that we are striving to reach out to, and have already done, but we'll be increasing that capacity in the short term. Thank you.
View Anita Vandenbeld Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
I'm cognizant that right now, as we speak, a lot of the family members of our troops are probably listening. I can only imagine that there's some concern about COVID-19 and the safety of their loved ones. I just wonder if there's anything you'd like to say to those family members who might be listening, or if there are other methods of communication—many of us have people in our own constituencies who may be calling to ask us about this—if you have anything you'd like to communicate to them about the precautions being taken.
View Marc Garneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
On that one, I would refer you to Global Affairs.
View Marcus Powlowski Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Chair.
I'm not sure to whom I should address this question. Am I correct that the enhanced measures—the brochures, the masks, the forms that people have to fill out—apply only to people who specifically have come from Hubei province? The same goes for the recommendation to self-isolate. Is it only Hubei province?
View Marcus Powlowski Profile
Lib. (ON)
Why not the rest of China? I mean, clearly there are numerous other provinces with thousands of cases of coronavirus. Why not them? Why not South Korea? Why not people who've specifically come back from Qom in Iran or the Lombardy region of Italy, places where we know there have been outbreaks?
View Marcus Powlowski Profile
Lib. (ON)
There's a second thing. I kind of question your reference to our containment with respect to H1N1 as being the model and as having been effective. Having been an emergency doctor at the times of both SARS and H1N1, I know that the precautions we took in terms of infectious diseases with SARS were totally different from those for H1N1. With SARS we gowned up; we masked and we did everything. With H1N1, I can't recall anything very much.
I would have thought that if we were looking for something to compare it to, it would be what we did with SARS rather than with H1N1. To go along with that, how much are we using the expertise of the people who were involved with SARS to inform the decisions on how to deal with the coronavirus?
View Marcus Powlowski Profile
Lib. (ON)
The question I'd really like to get in is this: Do you have enough resources, with both the Public Health Agency and the provincial ministries of health?
Given my experience, I don't feel that there is a lot of excess fat in the health care system as it is. Certainly, if there is any substantial outbreak, there is going to be a lot of work for a lot of people in public health in terms of contact tracing and ensuring that people who may have been in contact and have symptoms self-isolate. Certainly, it's going to be a massive burden on the hospitals and hospital resources in terms of the number of beds, negative-pressure rooms, ICU beds, ventilators....
I know we don't know where this is going, but I think you certainly have to be gearing up for the possibility that things are going to get worse. Even at this stage, in terms of gearing up, do you have enough resources in terms of people and money to be doing your job adequately?
View Marcus Powlowski Profile
Lib. (ON)
Maybe the bigger question is that this may be the case in the Public Health Agency of Canada, but when it comes to the individual work at the public health level, it's going to be done by what are basically municipal agencies in the hospitals in the provinces. Do they have any added sources of funding to start addressing the possibility that things are going to get worse, let alone to actually put into place some backups so they can respond?
Certainly I don't think Canada has the capacity to build a thousand-bed hospital in a week, as China did. For ventilators, you can't just go buy—
View Ron McKinnon Profile
Lib. (BC)
I recommend that you follow up with the minister.
View Ron McKinnon Profile
Lib. (BC)
I did say that we would ask the minister about that, and I believe the minister and her department have contacted you directly on this matter since.
View Jean Yip Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you.
I have 30 seconds. I don't know if this can be answered in 30 seconds, but it's directed to all the panellists.
China has conveyed its appreciation to the government's response regarding the coronavirus emergency. How likely is it that this will contribute to a thaw in the Canada-China relations? Is there—
View Ron McKinnon Profile
Lib. (BC)
Welcome everyone. We'll start the meeting now.
Thank you everyone.
I have just a couple of points. The Special Committee on Canada-China Relations has booked this room at 5:30, so we will have a hard cap here at 5:30 so they can start their meeting and be televised.
I suggest for the next meeting that people keep in mind topics of interest so that we can consider where we're going to go in the future.
With that, we'll carry on. I'd like to welcome the Department of National Defence, with Major-General Cadieu, director of staff, strategic joint staff. Merci.
We have Major-General Downes, surgeon general, commander of the Canadian Forces health services group.
We have back again Ms. Namiesniowski, president of the Public Health Agency, and the incomparable Dr. Tam. Thank you for coming back.
We'll start with the Department of National Defence. I believe you have a 10-minute opening statement.
View Marcus Powlowski Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thanks very much to all of you for coming out today, and thank you for your work on behalf of all Canadians. I think you're doing a great job.
We had customs and border services come and speak to us earlier in the week. It seems that if you come from Wuhan or Hubei province, that initiates a process of screening and dealing with people who have potentially been exposed to the virus, people who have symptoms. Is this being done only with people coming from Hubei province and not from the rest of China?
View Marcus Powlowski Profile
Lib. (ON)
Johns Hopkins University has a dashboard showing the number of cases from other provinces. My understanding is that there are two other provinces with almost 900 cases. There are a number of other provinces with over 500 cases. That's gone up pretty dramatically over the last couple of days, from when it was almost half that number.
As we remember, there's a quarantine period of up to two weeks, so these numbers are going to go up even higher. Have you considered possibly implementing the same provisions regarding all passengers coming from China, with the idea that perhaps China has done a good job of barring the door but the horse may have bolted?
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