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Canada's Preparation for and Response to COVID-19

Canada's Preparation for and Response to COVID-19

Kumanan Wilson

A project to evaluate Canada’s preparedness and response to the COVID-19 virus. In particular, Dr. Wilson wants to know how well Canada has complied with the International Health Regulations. These Regulations represent an agreement between 196 countries to work together on global health security. The regulations were developed based on the European response to cholera in the 19th century, but were expanded and updated in 2005 in response to SARS. The signatories have agreed to build their capacity to detect, assess, and report on public health events.

Vaccine Passports – Legal and Policy Issues

Vaccine Passports – Legal and Policy Issues

Colleen Flood, Kumanan Wilson

COVID-19 vaccine passports/certificates are being deployed in different contexts across the world. But uncertainty about the ethics and legality of their use continues to vex the public and policy makers, with Canada as no exception. This project aims to investigate and advise on legal and policy issues around vaccine passports' rationale and design, the government's proper role in regulating them, and persistent concerns over privacy, equity, liberty, and coercion.


Key Canadian federal, provincial, and municipal government sites:
Government of Canada

Government of Ontario

Government of Quebec

City of Ottawa

City of Toronto

City of Montreal

City of Vancouver

Key U.S. and world sites:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, USA)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Johns Hopkins maintains a heavyweight array of news and resources for public and professions. The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security was a cutting edge organization dealing with pandemics long before coronavirus came on the scene:
Johns Hopkins – Coronavirus Resource Center

Johns Hopkins – Center for Health Security

STAT is a premier health sciences reporting organization in the U.S. is a great resource for up-to-date information on the science of coronavirus. The site also provides helpful curation of scientific papers from other journals.

The Lancet has a COVID-19 Resource Centre, collecting articles and correspondence on the topic.

The New England Journal of Medicine likewise has a central webpage gathering articles and correspondence on coronavirus.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health offers a "Live map of COVID-19 evidence", including topic-specific maps tracking emerging evidence on (e.g.) prognosis, infection prevention, and etiology.

University of Ottawa Professor Craig Forcese & Leah West’s chapter on Emergencies is a good primer on Canadian and international law in this area. Available open access at SSRN. Professor Craig Forcese also has a website, INTREPID, which tracks COVID-19 emergency orders by province.

The Our World in Data website, led by economist Max Roser, is a good resource for current data.

Tracking Public Investment in Global Covid-19 Research & Development

Here's a little website that will send you a curate top five new papers on COVID-19 every day by email—or just visit the site to see them all.

And then of course there is the Worldometer.

Recent Publications

Implementing digital passports for SARS-Co-V-2 immunization in Canada
Kumanan Wilson & Colleen Flood. CMAJ. 2021. (OPEN ACCESS)

Mandatory vaccination for health care workers: an analysis of law and policy
Colleen Flood, Bryan Thomas & Kumanan Wilson. CMAJ. 2021. (OPEN ACCESS)

Lessons learned from COVID-19 for the post-antibiotic future
Patrick Fafard (co-author). Globalization and Health. 2020. (OPEN ACCESS)

Communication about COVID-19 from Canadian provincial chief medical officers of health: A qualitative study
Patrick Fafard (co-author). CMAJ Open. 2020. (OPEN ACCESS)

Diets, Diseases, and Discourse: Lessons from COVID-19 for Trade in Wildlife, Public Health, and Food Systems Reform
Angela Lee & Adam Houston. Food Ethics. 2020. (OPEN ACCESS)

Governing COVID-19 without government in Brazil: Ignorance, neoliberal authoritarianism, and the collapse of public health leadership
Francisco Ortega & Michael Orsini. Global Public Health. 2020. (OPEN ACCESS)

Restoring Trust: COVID-19 and The Future of Long-Term Care
Colleen Flood (co-author). Royal Society of Canada. 2020. (OPEN ACCESS)

The International Health Regulations (2005), the threat of populism and the COVID-19 pandemic
Kumanan Wilson (co-author). Global Health. 2020. (OPEN ACCESS)

COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and the International Health Regulations (2005)
Barbara von Tigerstrom & Kumanan Wilson. BMJ Glob Health. 2020. (OPEN ACCESS)


Vulnerable: The Law, Policy and Ethics of COVID-19
Colleen M. Flood, Vanessa MacDonnell, Jane Philpott, Sophie Thériault, Sridhar Venkatapuram (eds). 2020.
Includes pieces on diverse topics from 70 contributors (20 from CHLPE) across law, policy, ethics, medicine, health sciences, economics, management, and more.

Recent Media

The Case, Ethics and Politics of Vaccine Certificates
Chidi Oguamanam. Punch Newspaper. March 2021.

Vaccine certificates should not come at expense of other COVID priorities
Chidi Oguamanam. Policy Options. March 2021.

COVID-19 Digital Health Innovations: The African Context
Chidi Oguamanam. OpenAIR. March 2021.

Canada: Tackling Vaccine Hesitancy Among Indigenous Peoples
Chidi Oguamanam & Jessica Hennings. ABS Canada. March 2021.

Mandatory vaccination for healthcare workers could survive Charter challenge: Medical journal report
Colleen Flood. Canadian Lawyer. Feb 2021.

The case for a COVID-19 vaccination certificate
Colleen Flood and Bryan Thomas. Globe and Mail. Feb 2021.

Governments should set clear rules for vaccinating health care workers against SARS CoV-2
Kumanan Wilson & Colleen Flood. Hospital News. Feb 2021.

The case for mandatory vaccination of health care workers
Colleen Flood, Bryan Thomas & Kumanan Wilson. Hospital News. Jan 2021.

3 ways Canada can take action as a global health leader on COVID-19 vaccines
Jason Nickerson. CBC. Dec 2020.

Government Response and Accountability: What We Can Learn from a COVID-19 Spring.
Episode 1
Episode 2
Colleen Flood et al. The Authority File Podcast. Dec 2020.

Please Show Your Vaccine Certificate
Colleen Flood, Vivek Krishnamurthy & Kumanan Wilson. Policy Options. Dec 2020.

Evaluating China’s pandemic response using International Health Regulations
Sam Halabi & Kumanan Wilson. Policy Options. Sept 2020.

Ottawa must put data first and tie to health funding
Michael Wolfson. Toronto Star. Aug 2020.

Africa’s Unique Vulnerabilities Require a Different Pandemic Response
Chidi Oguamanam. Policy Options. Aug 2020.

COVID-19 and Vaccine Nationalism: Africa’s Pathway to Access
Chidi Oguamanam. The Punch. Aug 2020.

There’s a Drug to Treat COVID-19, but Canada Must Act Soon to Ensure Access: Why compulsory licensing is the right tool for right now
Adam Houston. The Tyee. July 2020.

Canada needs to start taking long-term care more seriously
w/ Colleen Flood. Globe and Mail. July 2020.

Immunity checks could help ensure fans’ safety at sporting events, doctor says
w/ Kumanan Wilson. New York Post. July 2020.

Our post-pandemic future
Vanessa MacDonnell, Sophie Thériault & Sridhar Venkatapuram. iPolitics. July 2020

World must rethink drug and vaccine development to put patients over profits
Jason Nickerson. iPolitics. June 2020.

COVID-19 and Canada’s Mobile Labour Force
Katherine Lippel et al. Migration & (Im)mobility Magazine. June 2020.

More Canadians are refusing work due to COVID-19—but it's tough to get authorities to agree
w/ Katherine Lippel. CBC News. June 2020.

Doctors Without Borders Wants Trudeau to Commit to Fair Access to COVID-19 Vaccines
w/ Jason Nickerson. Toronto Star. June 2020.

COVID-19 : Le développement d’un vaccin soulève encore bien des questions
w/ Patrick Fafard. Radio-Canada. June 2020.

As the Race for a Vaccine Ramps Up, So Do Calls for Vaccine Injury Compensation
w/ Kumanan Wilson. CTV News. June 2020.

We Must Act Now to Prevent a Second Wave of Long-Term Care Deaths
Colleen Flood (co-author). Royal Society of Canada. June 2020.

Long-term care work deserves our respect
Ivy Bourgeault. Policy Options. June 2020.

How Should We Enforce Pandemic Rules For Those Living With Mental Illness?
Jennifer Chandler. Policy Options. June 2020.

C.D. Howe Crisis Working Group Report: A Tale of Two Epidemics: Why Seniors’ Care in Canada was So Hard Hit
Colleen Flood (co-author). June 2020.

Is digital contact-tracing a real hope or a dangerous distraction?
w/ Jason Millar. National Observer. May 2020

COVID-19: le Bloc s'oppose à une stratégie nationale de retraçage
w/ Karen Eltis. Les Affaires. May 2020.

Long-term care work is essential but essentially under-recognized
Ivy Bougreault. Policy Options. May 2020.

Identifier les survivants de la COVID-19 et les exempter de confinement, une bonne idée?
w/ Kumanan Wilson. Radio-Canada. May 2020.

Will lessons from cholera in Haiti be applied to COVID-19?
Adam Houston, Beatrice Lindstrom. IPI Observatory. May 2020.

Il faut protéger les plus vulnérables
w/ Katherine Lippel. Le devoir. May 2020.

COVID-19: In the Shadow of Ebola, the Patent War to Come and a Forgotten Africa
Nailah Ramsoomair & Chidi Oguamanam. ABS Canada. May 2020.

COVID-19 and the Amazon: Indigenous Peoples, Conservation Under Threat
Nailah Ramsoomair & Chidi Oguamanam. ABS Canada. May 2020.

Side effects may vary: lack of evidence prompts vigilance when considering contact-tracing apps
Jason Millar. Hill Times. May 2020.

C.D. Howe Crisis Working Group Report: Public Health and Emergency Measures
Colleen Flood (co-author). April 2020.

Boris Johnson Battling COVID-19 in Hospital, Steps to Get Back to Normal Life After a Pandemic, and How Africa is Dealing with the COVID-19 Crisis
w/ Chidi Oguamanam. The Craig Needles Podcast. Apr 2020.

Ontario Safe Streets Act will cost lives amid the coronavirus pandemic
Marie-Eve Sylvestre et al. The Conversation. Apr 2020.

Five Ways A COVID-19 Contact-Tracing App Could Make Things Worse
Jason Millar. Policy Options. Apr 2020.

Créer une banque de données des effectifs en santé
Ivy Bourgeault. Policy Options. April 2020.

Rationing care in Canada and U.S. in the face of COVID-19
Jennifer Herbst. iPolitics. April 2020.

The future of long-term care homes
w/ Colleen Flood. CBC Radio. April 2020.

Coronavirus vaccine must be affordable and accessible
Jason Nickerson. The Conversation. April 2020.

Comment les Canadiens perçoivent-ils la COVID-19?
w/ Patrick Fafard. Radio-Canada. April 2020.

Why has Canada’s data collection lagged so far behind?
Michael Wolfson. Blog. April 2020.

Governing COVID-19 in Brazil: Dissecting the ableist and reluctant authoritarian
Michael Orsini. Somatosphere. April 2020.

Liberty versus security in a pandemic
w/ Colleen Flood. TVO The Agenda. April 2020.

What are the rights and responsibilities of healthcare providers?
Vanessa Gruben, Alicia Czarnowski. Policy Options. April 2020.

La gestion de la pandémie par les gouvernements
w/ Patrick Fafard. Radio-Canada. April 2020.

Crisis underscores that health workers are backbone of health system
Ivy Bourgeault, Sarah Simkin, Caroline Chamberland-Rowe. QUOi Media. April 2020.

Canada after the curve
w/ Michael Wolfson. National Post Radio. April 2020.

How invoking the Emergency Act could help Canada better track, contain COVID-19
Colleen Flood, Teresa Scassa, David Robertson. CBC. April 2020.

Africa and COVID-19
Chidi Oguamanam. Blog. April 2020.

COVID-19 visitation bans for people in institutions put many at risk in other ways
Natalie Spagnuolo & Michael Orsini. CBC. March 2020.

Border closures may not be legal and won't stop spread
Y.Y. Chen, Jamie Liew. QUOi Media. March 2020.

What happens after the pandemic curve flattens?
Michael Wolfson. Globe and Mail. March 2020.

Ethics, the law and a public health emergency
w/ Colleen Flood. CBC The Sunday Edition. March 2020.

Leaving no one behind with COVID-19
Katherine Lippel. Toronto Star. March 2020.

Populism and pandemics: The IHR was meant to address outbreaks like COVID-19, but nations have ignored it
Kumanan Wilson. CBC News. March 2020.

In the face of COVID-19, we must understand Canada's lockdown powers
Colleen Flood, Bryan Thomas. Globe and Mail. March 2020.

How global health rules are being challenged by coronavirus
Kumanan Wilson, Sam Halabi. Ottawa Citizen. Feb 2020.

Event Videos

Science + Policy: Our Response and Next Steps to COVID-19
Kumanan Wilson. Apr 2020.

Coronavirus, Human Rights, and Social Media: Balancing Rights and Response in an #Outbreak
Amir Attaran, Jane Bailey, Y.Y. Chen, Colleen M. Flood, Vanessa Gruben. Feb 2020.