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

Alberta’s new sport fishing regulations include more harvesting opportunities

The 2020 regulations feature more opportunities for recreational fishing and online licences

Terrace Ridge School Grade 7 students given attendance choice to address enrollment pressures in Lacombe

Review was necessary because the school’s current utilization rate is 108.29 per cent

One more COVID-19 case in Lacombe area brings total to 3

Anyone at risk will be directly contacted by AHS

PHOTOS: Messages left for heroes at the Lacombe Hospital

Messages were left at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre from Wyatt & Wesley Roblin.

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

A message from Central Alberta Co-op

Please remember to practice social distancing at all our locations.

Online fishing program available for free

Albertans can educate themselves about the sport

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Ways to keep you and your family safe

UPDATE: 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

Sylvan Lake photographer captures family life from the front steps

Deb McNeil is taking porch portraits to share the uniqueness of families during COVID-19

US death toll eclipses China’s as reinforcements head to NYC

New York was the deadliest hot spot in the U.S.

Most Read