Opposition party MPs have succeeded in passing a motion requiring the Liberal government to give them access to contracts with seven COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers. But whether the documents will actually be released to the health committee, and in what form, remains unclear. When asked whether the government will comply with the motion and make the agreements available, a spokesperson for Procurement Minister Anita Anand didn’t respond by deadline. On Friday, the health committee voted 6-5 in favour of a motion, introduced by Conservative MP John Barlow, for the documents to be made available to the committee. Five Liberal MPs voted against it, while the Conservative, NDP and Bloc members were in favour.
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Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland assured Canadians in October that the Trudeau government’s “fiscally expansive approach to fighting the coronavirus cannot and will not be infinite. It is limited and temporary.” She said she knows the size of federal deficits and debt matter to Canadians. It’s now February and it’s time Freeland demonstrated this. She can do it by delivering a long-delayed federal budget — the last one was two years ago when Bill Morneau was finance minister, prior to the 2019 election — that contains a realistic path to getting federal spending under control. Freeland is getting financial warnings about the importance of this from all sides.
Don’t stop betting on a spring election. Despite what looks like a disastrous couple of weeks for Justin Trudeau and the Liberals, the governing party is still setting the table for an election by June if the conditions are right. The announcement on transit funding last week, the gun control and drug sentencing announcements this week, the push to get a new deal for farmers with the provinces quickly, all point to an election readiness footing. Sure, the conventional wisdom might be that it would be crazy to ask voters for support at a time when they’re angry about a lack of vaccines and the party’s fortunes are falling in the polls. As the old saying goes though, a week is a long time in politics and there’s plenty of time for Trudeau’s fortunes to turn around.
Tuning in, turning on and dropping out of chronic misery is the aim of Alberta’s first psychedelic therapy clinic that’s opened in Calgary. Six weeks after conducting the province’s first federally sanctioned psilocybin treatment for a palliative care patient — Airdrie’s Tony White — those facilitators have established the ATMA Calgary Urban Journey Clinic in a 5,000-square-foot space in a professional building across from North Hill Centre. With its plush furniture and cosy decor, the clinic will be decidedly non-sterile and hopefully a harbinger of a wider acceptance of the unconventional therapy, said ATMA co-founder David Harder.
In a statement, Alberta Justice Minister Kaycee Madu said “it appears once again that Ottawa is more interested in targeting law-abiding Canadians rather than the criminals who recklessly endanger public safety by ignoring all laws.” “We know that the overwhelming majority of guns used in committing crimes in Canada are illegally smuggled over the United States border, and we fully support efforts to crack down on smuggled guns,” Madu said Tuesday. “The federal government seems to be obsessively focused on duly licensed Canadian firearms owners. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians purchased their property legally, and have used that property legally and safely for many years. These citizens should not be treated like criminals by their own federal government.”
Welcome to the NHL On Tap. Three NHL.com writers will share what they are most looking forward to on the schedule each day. Today, their choices from the five games Tuesday.
Fauci, with six other researchers in separate fields, received the Dan David award “for achievements having an outstanding scientific, technological, cultural or social impact on our world.” Donald Trump and Fauci were often at odds when publicly discussing COVID-19 during the last administration as Trump repeatedly downplayed the severity of the disease while Fauci stressed the importance of following public health guidelines to limit the spread.
OTTAWA — Newly tabled gun legislation would allow municipalities to ban handguns through bylaws restricting their possession, storage and transportation. The Liberal government said Tuesday the measures would be backed up with serious penalties to enforce these bylaws, including jail time for people who violate municipal rules. In Canada, no one should ever have to be afraid and action must be taken to prevent more tragedies, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “The right place to act is here, and the right time is now.”
In Entos Pharmaceuticals’ Edmonton lab, there’s excitement over how close the company is getting to developing a made-in-Canada COVID-19 vaccine. There’s also dismay. With more federal help, Entos’ CEO John Lewis says they could be much closer to a vaccine than they are. “We just haven’t seen that. It’s very frustrating.” Officials also asked the federal government for grants and received some money. Lewis says little has been smooth about the process. “We negotiated the contract back and forth. We found out just a week ago that they’d cancelled that contract.”
Nearly 1,000 Albertans died from opioid overdoses in 2020 by the end of November, according to new numbers released by the province that show another 93 deaths in a single month. Kenney previously said that the sharp increase in opioid-related fatalities is related, in part, to COVID-19 restrictions and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which he said had the “unintended consequence” of increasing the ability for people to purchase drugs. Between January 2016 and June 2020, a staggering 17,602 Canadians died from apparent opioid overdoses, according to the federal government.