Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a press conference about COVID-19 in front of his residence at Rideau Cottage on the grounds of Rideau Hall in Ottawa, on Sunday, March 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Canada to spend $192M to find vaccine for COVID-19, Trudeau says

More than 1,400 cases of the novel coronavirus in Canada

The Canadian government is investing $192 million in finding a vaccine and treatment methods for COVID-19.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement from the steps of Rideau Cottage in Ottawa Monday, where he is self-isolating along with his wife, Sophie, who tested positive for the virus.

She is among more than 1,400 Canadians who have tested positive for COVID-19 since the first cases were reported in the country in February. So far, there have been 20 deaths associated with the virus.

“We’re investing in a longterm solution for COVID-19,” he said.

Trudeau said AbCellera, a Vancouver-based biotech company, is using its antibody technology to search for a treatment and vaccine in the blood samples of patients who have recovered from COVID-19.

The company has partnered with global biopharmaceutical company Eli Lilly to rapidly manufacture and distribute a treatment with the goal of beginning clinical trials in July 2020.

Medicago, based in Quebec City, has has identified a viable plant-based vaccine candidate currently at the pre-clinical testing phase.

But Trudeau started his now-daily update by scolding those Canadians who he said seem to feel “invincible,” and refusing to socially-distance.

“You’re not,” he said, urging them to think of their grandparents, grocery store employees, healthcare workers and people with compromised immune systems.

“Enough is enough. Stay home.”

The Prime Minister remained tightlipped on exactly what measures Ottawa was taking to force people to socially distance or self-isolate.

“Nothing that could help is off the table,” he told reporters.

That includes closing provincial borders: “I will be speaking with the premiers tonight.”

The much asked about Emergencies Act, Trudeau said, would take away powers from the provinces and local governments.

He said many provinces have already invoked their own emergency acts, including B.C. and Alberta.

The Prime Minister was asked about what he would do for tenants who cannot make their April 1 rent payments.

He declined to offer specific rent deferrals, despite a six-month mortgage deferral offered to homeowners. Trudeau said MPs would be working Tuesday to fast-track EI and Emergency Care Benefit payments, which he announced last week. More than half a million people have applied for EI in the past week.

Trudeau did announced some extra help for farmers and producers: an extra $5 billion available in loans through Farm Credit Canada.

VIDEO: Feds launch ad campaign urging social distancing, hygiene during COVID-19 crisis

COVID-19: Canadian cases, by province

More to come.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Agricultural Land Commission letter could halt operations at McLean Mill

National historic site near Port Alberni set to host a number of events if COVID-19 doesn’t interrupt

Mural planned for entrance to Port Alberni’s Harbour Quay

Arrowsmith Rotary project falls under the theme ‘building relationships’

City of Port Alberni to review 2020 budget in response to COVID-19

Deadline for final budget adoption is May 15

Alberni school district takes a week off to plan for online education

All buildings and playgrounds in School District 70 closed to the public

Vancouver Island farmers demand on-site slaughter

COVID-19 pandemic puts supply chains at risk, says group

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Quarantined B.C. mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Surrey’s Christine Williams shares family’s challenges, strengths

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Most Read