Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during his daily news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic outside his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, on Monday, May 4, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Trudeau takes part in COVID-19 virtual pledging conference led by EU

Justin Trudeau highlighted that Canada has already promised $850 million towards the international effort

Canada joined countries around the world Monday in an international pledging conference sponsored by the European Union to raise more than $11 billion for long-term COVID-19 vaccine research.

The goal is to make sure a viable vaccine becomes available and affordable for all countries, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

In his address, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau highlighted that Canada has already promised $850 million towards the international effort to fight the spread of the pandemic.

When asked why Canada didn’t offer new money today, he said the event was “only the beginning” in the effort to find, manufacture and distribute a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.

“We know that the safety of our own citizens depends on how we keep people around the world safe,” Trudeau said at the conference that took place online Monday.

“We need to take care of ourselves by taking care of the rest of the world.”

READ MORE: 7.3M Canadians have received CERB, as wage subsidy pays salaries for another 1.7M: feds

Trudeau also spoke with Bill and Melinda Gates last week about the need to support the event and to promote co-operation in developing and distributing a vaccine — and not just to those in wealthy countries.

The Gates Foundation is one of the leading international players in the search for a vaccine.

Last week, one of its senior executives said events such as the pledging conference are only the start of raising money for an effort that could cost upwards of $20 billion.

Like Canada, other countries are trying to develop a vaccine formula or treatment that will allow the world to stop the pandemic and return to a state of normalcy.

But discovering a viable vaccine won’t be enough to prevent future outbreaks, said the head of the World Health Organization.

“The true measure of success will not only be how fast we can develop safe and effective tools – it will be how equally we can distribute them,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO.

“The potential for continued waves of infection of COVID-19 across the globe demands that every single person on the planet be protected from this disease.”

Countries are already working together to pool research and data to help in the development of a vaccine, and work has already begun to plot out a way to manufacture a viable formula on a worldwide scale, according to Canada’s health minister.

“It is almost like a race, but a race where you want everyone to be able to cross the finish line at once,” Health Minister Patty Hajdu said at a briefing Monday.

She said that while every country wants to find a way to vaccine their own citizens against the virus, everyone in the world will be at risk until a vaccine is made available worldwide.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusEuropean UnionJustin Trudeau

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

BC SPCA team helps discover new feline virus after outbreak at Quesnel shelter

Fechavirus is a kind of parvovirus, which makes cats and kittens very sick

Barriere RCMP hit the trail with BC Conservation Officer Service

Barriere RCMP Detachment Commander, Cpl. Robert Welsman, says he took to back… Continue reading

Plant veggies and enter Barriere Blooms contest

Victory Garden theme gets residents in the dirt

RV habitation once again a discussion topic for TNRD

“I don’t imagine for a moment that we’ve heard the last of the RV issue”

COVID-19: B.C. landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

UPDATE: B.C.’s Central Kootenay issues evacuation orders for hundreds of residents due to flooding

An evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

Most Read