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Canada will contribute 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to low-income countries through financial support and by forgoing future deliveries.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to make the announcement on Sunday at the end of a G7 leaders meeting in Cornwall, England.
“It will be a combination of some in cash and some in kind,” Ralph Goodale, Canada’s High Commissioner to the U.K., said Friday. “Canada’s global number is up to 100 million.
And we recognize that even with all of the countries doing their share, that’s still not enough. So more will be required going forward but this is a starting point.”
The announcement will be part of a pledge by G7 leaders to supply at least one billion doses in total to other countries. Most of the G7 contributions, including Canada’s, will be sent to COVAX, an alliance co-led by the World Health Organization that is working to ensure equitable access to vaccines.
Correspondent’s Comment, Europe Correspondent Paul Waldie: “A seaside resort in a far off corner of England seemed an unlikely place for a summit of G7 leaders, but Cornwall is proving to be a welcome retreat for the first face-to-face meeting these leaders have had since the COVID-19 pandemic. For Prime Minister Trudeau, it’s a chance to rub shoulders with some of Canada’s most important allies and while COVID has been a major topic on day one of the gathering, other issues have been raised. Mr. Trudeau and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met briefly to talk trade and they agreed that a Canada-U.K. free-trade agreement was possible in less than three years. That’s an ambitious schedule considering it took Canada and the European Union roughly nine years to reach a trade deal. Maybe it was the summer weather and sandy beaches.”
PRIME MINISTER’S DAY AT THE G7
At the G7 summit in Cornwall, the Prime Minister’s official schedule said he would meet individually with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, then participate in the summit’s official welcoming ceremony, and the G7 family photo. He was to attend a G7 working session entitled “Building Back Better: Recovery for all,” and then attend a reception held by the British Prime Minister. The schedule included another G7 family photo, followed by the G7 leaders dinner.
G7 SUMMIT COMMENTARY:
Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on the defensive globalism G7 leaders feel the need for after a me-first pandemic: “It is a fitting symbol that the most-discussed issue going into the summit of Group of 7 leaders in England is whether wealthy countries that spent a year in a me-first, zero-sum struggle for PPE and vaccines can now aid the inoculation of the rest of the world. The pandemic within their own borders is increasingly coming under control, but now for their own self-interest, the world’s advanced industrialized countries have to reach into the less-controllable space outside, knowing the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over for them if the virus keeps spreading elsewhere.”
Doug Saunders (The Globe and Mail) on the world’s two-speed COVID-19 recovery: “If you live in Canada, the United States, Israel, Australia or the wealthier parts of Asia, the COVID-19 pandemic will likely be over this year. Vaccination is happening with such unprecedented speed and efficiency in these countries that life will probably be largely back to normal in the autumn. For those living in less-wealthy countries, however, recovery has not even begun. In the less-prosperous parts of Asia, Africa and the Americas, there have been barely enough vaccines produced or distributed to vaccinate more than a sliver, and there are limited resources to deliver them.”
ALBERTA SEEKING KEYSTONE XL COSTS – Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says his government is working on a legal strategy to recoup losses from the failed Keystone XL pipeline, including with a potential lawsuit under the North American free-trade agreement that could happen as early as next month. The Alberta government, which invested in the project with Calgary-based pipeline builder TC Energy Corp. last year, estimates the province’s losses would be about $1.3-billion.
GREEN CAUCUS DOWN ONE MP TO TWO – Green Party MP Jenica Atwin is crossing the floor to sit with the Liberals less than two years after her breakthrough election for the Greens in New Brunswick and just weeks after criticizing key government policies. The move leaves the Greens with just two MPs in the House of Commons, and none outside British Columbia.
SILVER CLEARED – An investigation by the federal Lobbying Commissioner reveals Rob Silver, the spouse of the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Katie Telford, had several conversations with senior government officials seeking policy changes on behalf of his employer, but concludes Mr. Silver did not violate federal lobbying laws.
WE CHARITY NOT EQUIPPED – WE Charity was poorly equipped to run a volunteer student grant program that the federal government handed to it last year, the House of Commons ethics committee says.
CALLS FOR INQUIRY – The federal Liberal government is facing calls for an independent inquiry after allegations that the military failed to respond to a complaint three years ago that Iraqi forces being trained by Canadian troops had committed war crimes.
QUEBEC-ONTARIO BOUNDARY TO OPEN SOON: LEGAULT – The boundary between Quebec and Ontario, closed since April to reduce COVID-19 transmission, will likely reopen within days, Quebec Premier François Legault says. From The Ottawa Citizen.
NO CANADA DAY CELEBRATIONS IN VICTORIA – British Columbia’s capital city has cancelled Canada Day celebrations after the mayor and council concluded that marking the day would be damaging to Victoria’s efforts at reconciliation.
McNEIL HIRED – Former Nova Scotia premier Stephen McNeil has a new job. Details here. From CBC.
PLETT SEEKS EAGLE-FEATHER RULING – Conservative Senate Leader Don Plett has asked the Speaker to rule on whether it’s acceptable for a member of the Red Chamber to hold an eagle feather when speaking in the Senate, saying he’s concerned that using this sort of “prop” may be against the rules. From CBC.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole delivers remarks at a Halifax Chamber of Commerce event.
Green Party Leader Annamie Paul holds a press conference on the G7 summit.
Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau being willing to fight discrimination against Muslims so long as they don’t live in Quebec: “Surely it was not lost on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the same symbols that ostensibly made the Afzaal family a target for the man now charged with their murders and attempted murder in London, Ont., would have also made them ineligible for certain jobs in Quebec. Indeed, 15-year-old Yumna could’ve grown up to be almost anything she wanted in Canada – except for a teacher in one of Quebec’s French language boards, if she had chosen to wear a hijab. Bill 21 is quite clearly legislated discrimination, and it would almost certainly be in violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms had Premier François Legault not pre-emptively equipped it with the notwithstanding clause when he tabled it years ago. Since then, Mr. Trudeau – along with other opposition leaders – have tiptoed around the legislation, careful not to rouse the majority in Quebec who view the religious symbols ban favourably.”
Vaughn Palmer (The Vancouver Sun) on why the federal government is key to the B.C. NDP government’s child-care commitments: “Currently only about 20 per cent of B.C. children up to age 12 have access to child-care services. Chen estimates that by the beginning of 2028, the province will need to create another 53,000 spaces just for children four years old and under. To fully close the gap, it looks as if the New Democrats will be relying on hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding. The Trudeau government recently committed to $30-billion in child-care funding over five years, shared nationwide. “The provincial government has been building on our own since 2018,” Chen told the House, perhaps forgetting those federally funded $10-a-day pilot projects. “The federal government partnership will be critical to help us continue with our momentum to build this new social program.” As things stand today, the province will need all the dollars it can get from Ottawa.”
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