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

‘Overwhelming, incredible’ support for foreign workers following West Kelowna COVID-19 outbreak

‘…Our team seems to be recovering well — symptoms are resolving’

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

North Okanagan bands together in support against COVID-19

New group launches website with tools to help endure crisis

VIDEO: KLO middle school teachers shoot video to show support for students at home

KLO teachers Kayla Rose and Tonia Macgregor were the minds behind the gesture

COVID-19: Kelowna MLA to host virtual town hall on physical, mental health

Norm Letnick will be hosting the town hall with doctors from the Canadian Mental Health Association

WATCH: Salmon Arm artist hosts virtual art show amid COVID-19

Roxi Hermsen’s show “Into the Cosmos” is a tribute to her father Bill Sim

HERGOTT: COVID-19 and ICBC

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

COVID-19: Armstrong gym fined $345 after failure to close

The fitness centre was issued a ticket a day after province ordered all gyms to close

Bus rider who travelled to Golden tests positive for COVID-19

The passenger travelled from Calgary to Golden on March 15

Armed robbery of legal grow-op in Sicamous ends in arrest near Enderby

Residents alarmed over increased police presence Tuesday morning

Wildfire burns out-of-control on Adams Lake band land in the Shuswap

BC Wildfire Service reports Shuswap two-hectare fire is not threatening structures

COVID-19: Vernon homeless shelters combine in curling club

Gateway and Our Place shelter sites housed under one roof amid pandemic

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

Most Read