CANADA’S RECOVERY PLAN

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Overview

When COVID-19 hit, the Trudeau government wasn’t ready. Caught unprepared, they made bad decisions that put lives at risk and crippled our economy.

It didn’t have to be this way.

Canada has faced pandemics before. In recent memory we were confronted with SARS and H1N1. Each time, we learned lessons and prepared for future pandemics.

Tragically, the Trudeau government undid much of that preparation. Pandemic preparedness was not their priority and they cut funding for key programs. They shut down the Global Public Health Intelligence Network, our pandemic early warning system. They let the National Microbiology Laboratory decline and then depleted Canada’s PPE stockpile. They fought with the pharmaceutical industry, and stacked the Public Health Agency with bureaucrats – not scientists.

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Canada’s Conservatives will implement a Canada Emergency Preparedness Plan. The Plan will be measured and updated annually, including by incorporating the findings of the inquiry.

Making Canada resilient to threats

  • Vaccine Research, Trials & Manufacturing Capacity
    • Ramp up Canadian research and production capacity by making Canada one of the best jurisdictions in the world for pharmaceutical research and development as well as production of vaccines and medicines.
      • We won’t allow liberal regulation to drive pharmaceutical companies out of Canada anymore.
      • We will follow the UK’s example by putting in place a sector strategy to grow the sector in a well thought out way rather than just handing out money.
      • We will also end the liberal hostility to the pharma sector that has driven investment out of Canada, left us near the back of the line for vaccines and risks leaving us at the back of the line for new medicines. Instead, we will negotiate constructively with the industry to reduce drug prices while providing long-term regulatory certainty.
    • Overhaul Canada’s Pandemic Plan and preparedness to include domestic vaccine research, trials development and manufacturing capacity and readiness – with a focus on novel vaccine platforms, keeping and attracting the best minds in Canada, and ensuring secure access to supply during pandemic scenarios – working with universities, the private sector, provinces and territories, and international partner countries to build for the future; and
    • Review Health Canada’s regulatory processes, and the balance between Canada’s industrial, health, and economic relationships with the global biomanufacturing sector in light of Canada’s poor performance in accessing vaccines during COVID19.
  • Increasing Domestic Production of Critical Supplies
    • Partner with pharmaceutical companies to increase production of critical medicines and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients in Canada;
    • Work with the United States to strengthen the North American supply chain for pharmaceuticals to reduce our shared reliance on imports; and use procurements by government and those receiving government funding to strengthen domestic production of PPE.
    • Reinstate the tariff on imported PPE to recognize and secure the longevity of Canadian manufacturers of PPE. Canadian manufacturers have responded to the pandemic by enhancing their capacities to produce PPE and they deserve to compete within a fair domestic market. A strong domestic manufacturing industry for PPE is a pillar of pandemic readiness and ongoing resiliency. Canadian manufacturers are also at the forefront of PPE innovation, seeking to address the environmental impact of the mass manufacturing of PPE.
  • Stockpiles, Lab Testing & Contact Tracing
    • Overhaul Canada’s National Emergency Stockpile System to ensure supplies are there to rapidly respond to infectious disease, bioterrorism, and similar threats including ensuring the security of supply for personal protective equipment, diagnostic reagents and swab supplies, and adopting modern tracking systems to ensure supplies are used before they expire and available when needed;
    • Overhaul federal lab testing processes and the support PHAC provides for provinces and territories to markedly improve consistency and scaling of lab capabilities across Canada, including the development of rapid testing capabilities at our borders, across our cities, in rural and remote communities, and within long term care facilities; and
    • Fill the response gap left by Ottawa between lab testing and costly lock-downs, through working with Canadian infectious disease experts, provinces and territories to develop evidence-based contact tracing systems for our borders, and in support of public health efforts. Delaying and pushing unproven technologies on the provinces and territories, over scientific procurement processes, allowed the virus the time to spread and undermined Canada’s social, economic and health structures.
    • Develop a national system for sharing data across jurisdictions on pathogen transmission, immunity levels, and vaccination rates with transparent reporting requirements and coordination among jurisdictions.
  • New High Containment Laboratory Capacity and Infection Control Capacities
    • Bolster our infectious disease and pandemic science infrastructure, research and expertise, through the development of new and novel high containment laboratory capabilities, alongside the National Microbiology Laboratory, to rapidly identify the threat to Canadians of novel and emerging infectious disease and bioterrorism agents, including by:
      • Enhancing our basic scientific understanding of the transmission of novel pathogens in built environments (notably, long term care facilities, hospitals, and other communal settings) on different surfaces (e.g. nurse stations, medical equipment, doorknobs, retail and workplace surfaces) and the importance of infection control measures (e.g. masks, hand washing);
      • Supporting the development and testing of new infection control products/biomaterials, safe and high-performance architectural designs, airflow systems, and isolation facilities for the control of infectious diseases during regular times, and ensure Canada has the rapid response capabilities – including issuing science-based public health guidelines for front line workers and essentials services – during outbreaks and pandemics. Never again should essential workers be left to their own devices or our economy simply be allowed to collapse.
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Preventing pandemics

  • Addressing the Threat Posed by Animal Markets and Trade in Wild Animals
    • Support and encourage the closure of poorly-regulated wildlife markets globally that carry an elevated risk of becoming sources for future pandemics;
    • End the importation of and trade in wild or exotic animals and their products that carry an elevated risk of spreading zoonotic diseases.
  • Prohibiting the export of deadly viruses to jurisdictions that cannot be trusted.
    • The government will create a list of these countries that are subject to the export prohibition based on a national security assessment.
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Detecting and assessing threats

  • Public Health Intelligence
    • Overhaul Canada’s public health intelligence gathering systems, including restoring the Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN) shut down by the Liberal government and strengthen the sharing of public health intelligence across the federal government and with the provinces and territories.
    • Establish a threat level warning system that uses data points and sources from our overhauled public health intelligence gathering systems to assign risk levels from a scale of 1-5 for Canadians when a new virus is detected.
    • Overhaul the federal government’s disastrous risk communications infrastructure, including developing trusted mechanisms for communicating the real threat to Canadians of novel and emerging pathogens and rapidly changing information.
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Countering the threat

  • Scientific leadership
    • Assign ultimate responsibility for the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to a qualified physician – public health expert with field and front line experience;
    • Establish a set of actions corresponding to each level of risk in our new threat level warning system, including but not limited to when border measures will be implemented, when travel should be restricted, and data-sharing requirements across jurisdictions.
    • Develop a data-driven system of benchmarks for removing bans, restrictions, and quarantines to provide certainty to businesses and their populations.
    • Ensure adequate enforcement of these actions is undertaken and that monitoring both internationally and domestically is consistent and ongoing.
    • Restore the dual leadership role of the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg, within the Public Health Agency of Canada, so that infectious disease science and expertise drives our domestic pandemic response and Canada once again is a global pandemic leader; and
    • Overhaul Canada’s Pandemic Plan and preparedness to include a focus on infectious diseases and bioterrorism threats rather than solely on “influenza”, which led to Ottawa’s slow response and mishandling of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
    • Maintain access security and stringent screening protocols for scientists granted access to the Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg.
  • Strengthening Health Canada
    • Strengthen the department to ensure it can rapidly review crucial innovations like new tests, treatments, and vaccines. With new variants on the horizon, we can’t afford the same bureaucratic pace as in the past.
    • Partner with the private sector rather than over-rely on government. We will appreciate that there are some things best done by the private sector and be faster to reach out for help.
    • Work with the provinces to harmonize ICU training to ensure that ICU credentials are transferable among jurisdictions so that that capacity can be bolstered in emergencies.
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