CHLPE logo

Recent News

news item picturenews item picture
2020-03-16
THE LAW, POLICY AND ETHICS OF COVID-19

We are in the thick of unprecedented times. CHLPE members are at work on many dimensions of the COVID-19 crisis. Please check in regularly—or sign up for our newsletter to receive news, media, and event updates.

Now available free is Vulnerable: The Law, Policy and Ethics of COVID-19, published by the University of Ottawa Press. This book brings together 70 contributors from law, policy, ethics, medicine, health sciences, economics, management, and more. e-editions of Vulnerable are free of charge; print copies are available for purchase.

Our COVID-19 resource page >

Sign up for our newsletter >

Vulnerable book page >

Vulnerable webinar (Friday 25 Sept) >

news item picturenews item picture
2020-11-30
HYBRID MINDS: EXPERIENTIAL, ETHICAL AND LEGAL INVESTIGATION OF INTELLIGENT NEUROPROSTHESES

In November, CHLPE's Professor Jennifer Chandler (Law) and colleagues were awarded a major three-year grant from the European Research Area Networks (ERA-NET) for a multinational and multidisciplinary research project. The grant, worth CAD$1.26 million, is funded by Canadian, German and Swiss national funders, and will support research by a team representing neurosurgery, neuroengineering, rehabilitation engineering, philosophy, and patient policy and advocacy. The project will address intelligent neuroprostheses, which represent the next phase in the evolution of devices integrated with the brain.

news item picturenews item picture
2020-11-30
FIRST, DO LESS HARM CONFERENCE ON HARM REDUCTION VIDEOS

On November 12 and 13 the Ottawa Hub for Harm Reduction and CHLPE hosted First, Do Less Harm, a two-day online conference on the law, policy, and ethics of harm reduction in areas including opioids, cannabis, tobacco, and others. Speakers were drawn both from universities and medical and front line harm reduction organizations. A special thanks to Professor Vanessa Gruben (Law), Director of the Hub! Videos of all panels are currently available at www.ottawahealthlaw.ca/pastevents.

news item picturenews item picture
2020-11-30
CANIMMUNIZE ON THE FRONT LINES OF VACCINE ROLLOUT

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout will be one of the largest and most complex health initiatives in Canadian history. The CANImmunize app, brainchild of CHLPE's Dr. Kumanan Wilson, is poised to help monitor the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines while also allowing Canadians to easily store their vaccination history on their phones. Read more here:
CTV News
Ottawa Business Journal
www.canimmunize.ca

news item picturenews item picture
2020-11-30
IS IT "HOARDING" OR GOOD PLANNING? CANADA LEADS WORLD IN PROCURING COVID-19 VACCINE

Canada has pre-ordered far more COVID-19 vaccine per capita, and from more potential suppliers, than any other country. And that includes the two manufacturers—Pifzer and Moderna—that recently reported promising results on the effectiveness of their products. But to international development organizations, Canada’s accomplishment is something else—a sign of how rich countries are “hoarding” coronavirus vaccine in a way that will deprive poorer nations for months or years. The moral question aside, they argue that that’s a self-defeating strategy given the risk that outbreaks will continue to occur in Canada until all countries have been sufficiently immunized. CHLPE's Jason Nickerson is cited in the National Post.
Full text >

Jason Nickerson also recently appeared on TVO's The Agenda – "Tracking Canada’s Vaccine Race":
Video >

...and before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs as part of their study on Vulnerabilities Created and Exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic:
Video >

news item picturenews item picture
2020-11-30
ON THE WITNESS STAND: DISRUPTING BIG TOBACCO

David Sweanor, Chair of CHLPE's External Advisory Committee and the first lawyer globally to work full-time in public policy advocacy against big tobacco, recently testified before the Parliament of Australia's Select Committee on Tobacco Harm Reduction. The brief transcript makes for an interesting conversation about the disruptive effect of vaping technologies on big tobacco companies:
Full transcript >

news item picturenews item picture
2020-11-30
WHAT CAN THE CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH FOR ALBERTA DO?

Professor Patrick Fafard (Public Policy) was interviewed by CBC Radio in Calgary about the role and powers of the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta, and how her role compares to that of her counterparts in other countries. Does Dr. Deena Hinshaw have the power to lock the province down? Or is that Premier Kenney's call in the end?
Audio >

news item picturenews item picture
2020-11-30
KAREN ELTIS CITED BY SUPREME COURT OF CANADA

Professor Karen Eltis’s work was cited in the November Supreme Court decision Quebec (Attorney General) v. 9147-0732 Québec inc. The court grappled with looking to foreign and international legal sources to aid in interpreting the Canadian Charter’s protection against cruel and unusual punishment. In doing so, it looked to Karen Eltis’s work on comparative constitutional law and the “living tree” approach to Charter interpretation.
Read McCarthy Tetrault’s summary of the case >
Read the full case >

news item picturenews item picture
2020-11-30
THE LIFE-SAVING MEDICINE SHE NEEDS IS CHEAP, COMMON, AND UNAVAILABLE IN CANADA

While doctors removed a rare parasite growing on Cassidy Armstrong's liver before it killed her, she doesn't know if she'll receive the medication she'll need for the rest of her life. Her temporary supply of the drug is running out and she's still waiting for Health Canada to provide long-term access. CHLPE Ph.D. candidate Adam Houston is quoted in CBC News.
Full text >

news item picturenews item picture
2020-10-28
MIND-BRAIN-LAW READING GROUP RESTARTS

Mind-Brain-Law is a multi-disciplinary discussion group for people interested in the ethical, legal and social impact of the science and technology of the brain and mind. The group selects a recent interesting and important journal article to read and discuss, and uses it as a jumping-off point to explore broader implications. The group is open to students, scholars, and practitioners, both locally and nationally/internationally. The first meeting of 2020–21 will be on November 17. Spots are limited—RSVP is required.

Topics and more information >

news item picturenews item picture
2020-09-25
RECONCILING CIVIL LIBERTIES AND PUBLIC HEALTH IN THE RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Today the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) released a policy briefing entitled Reconciling Civil Liberties and Public Health in the Response to COVID-19, co-authored by several CHLPE members. Click to download the report or its executive summary.

The RSC has broadly developed resources and reports to ensure open access to independent, evidence-based science regarding COVID-19: https://rsc-src.ca/en/covid-19.

news item picturenews item picture
2020-09-10
B.C. COURT DISMISSES CAMBIE SURGERIES CLAIM

The Supreme Court of British Columbia released its decision in Cambie Surgeries Corporation v. British Columbia (Attorney General). The plaintiffs claimed that provisions in the Medicare Protection Act violate rights under ss. 7 and 15 of the Charter, specifically the right to life, liberty, and security of the person and the right to equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination. The court did not find an infringement of either section (finding that an infringement of security of the person was nonetheless in accordance with principles of fundamental justice). The case is expected to end in the Supreme Court of Canada.
Full text >

See also the recent book Is Two-Tier Health Care the Future?, a dive into the public-private health care debate in Canada.

news item picturenews item picture
2020-09-10
ADDRESSING VULNERABILITIES FOR A MORE EQUITABLE PANDEMIC RESPONSE

Vulnerabilities and interconnectedness at the centre of the COVID-19 pandemic are examined in this new series of articles in Policy Options. At issue are the vulnerabilities of people harmed by the virus directly as well as those harmed by our measures to slow the virus’s march; vulnerabilities in our institutions, governance and legal structures; and vulnerabilities in other countries and the global level.
Full text >

news item picturenews item picture
2020-09-10
COMMUNICATION ABOUT COVID-19 FROM PROVINCIAL CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICERS OF HEALTH

Professor Patrick Fafard (Public Policy) is first author on a study of to what extent messaging by provincial chief medical officers of health varied across jurisdictions and over time in the early months of the pandemic.
Full text >

news item picturenews item picture
2020-09-10
COVID-19 AND VACCINE NATIONALISM: AFRICA’S PATHWAY TO ACCESS

Professor Chidi Oguamanam (Law) addresses the lack of credible statistics on the extent of the COVID-19 infection in African countries and the absence of significant palliatives for ordinary citizens, businesses and corporations.
Full text >

news item picturenews item picture
2020-09-10
COVID-19 SHINES AN UNFLATTERING LIGHT ON MANY OF CANADA'S VULNERABILITIES

As countries scramble to develop a vaccine to combat COVID-19, consider the possibility that although your taxes are funding a great deal of that research and testing, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be inoculated if and when a vaccine becomes available. Why? Because it’s possible that the patent will be owned by a pharmaceutical company that will decide who can get it and how much they’ll have to pay for it. The Ottawa Citizeninterviews Colleen Flood on the conception and delivery of the book Vulnerable: The Law, Policy and Ethics of COVID-19, where 40 contributors address this and many similar topics.
Full text >

news item picturenews item picture
2020-09-10
HOW CAN I SAFELY RETURN TO WORK DURING THE PANDEMIC?

Staying healthy as work resumes for many is going to require employees to not only strictly adhere to preventative measures — like hand hygiene and physical distancing — but to know their rights, say experts in infectious disease and occupational health and safety law. CBC interviews Prof. Katherine Lippel (Law) among others.
Full text >

news item picturenews item picture
2020-08-17
OUR POST-PANDEMIC FUTURE

In the weeks and months ahead, politicians, policy experts, academics, businesses, non-profit organizations and the broader public will have to make important choices as we rebuild our lives, societies and the international order. Vanessa MacDonnell, Sophie Thériault, and Sridhar Venkatapuram write in iPolitics.

Full text >