At a news conference on Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic. He is joined by Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, and Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand, as well as Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, the deputy chief public health officer.
The prime minister announces the government is investing $214 million towards the development of made-in-Canada vaccines. Up to $173 million will go towards Quebec City-based Medicago to help the company develop its vaccine and build a facility to produce it. The government has signed an agreement with Medicago to secure up to 76 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The government will also invest up to $18.2 million in Vancouver-based biotechnology company Precision NanoSystems Incorporated to help advance the development of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The government is also providing up to $23.2 million in funding through the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program to advance six COVID-19 vaccine candidates in various stages of clinical trials. Trudeau also provides an update on rapid tests, announcing that hundreds of thousands of rapid test kits have arrived in the country and are currently being distributed across the country.