National Newswatch

Trudeau pledges more cash as G7 leaders aim for wider COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Feb 19 2021 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — The federal government has agreed to boost its funding for vaccine rollouts in lower-income countries, pledging $75 million more to the COVAX international vaccine-sharing program as other wealthy countries step up their commitments as well. The announcement came as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosted Justin Trudeau and their G7 counterparts for a […]

Canada, dozens of allies, declare arbitrary detentions immoral amid Kovrig, Spavor

Feb 15 2021 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — Canada and a coalition of 57 other countries offered vocal support Monday for a new international declaration denouncing state-sponsored arbitrary detention of foreign nationals for political purposes. The new declaration was born out of a year of behind-the-scenes diplomacy, spearheaded by former foreign affairs minister François-Philippe Champagne, and was the result of a […]

World economy will lose trillions if poor countries shorted on vaccines: OECD

Feb 9 2021 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — As the Trudeau government is forced to explain delays rolling out COVID-19 vaccines, some of the world's economic and health leaders are warning of catastrophic financial consequences if poorer countries are shortchanged on vaccinations. At a video meeting convened by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on Monday, Secretary-General Angel […]

Foreign interference by Saudi Arabia, China, Rwanda hurts democracy: report

Feb 4 2021 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — A groundbreaking new report details how countries such as Saudi Arabia, China and Rwanda are meddling in democratic countries, including Canada, to harass, threaten and commit violence against their citizens living abroad. The report by Freedom House on "transnational repression" is believed to be the first broad attempt to provide a global overview […]

Ramp up Canadian vaccine manufacturing, says COVID-19 task force health adviser

Jan 30 2021 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — A leading Canadian health expert on the federal government's COVID-19 Task Force says the pandemic should be viewed as a wake-up call for Canada to create its own domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity.  Dr. Alan Bernstein says that with new variants of the novel coronavirus emerging, Canadians might need multiple vaccines for several years. […]

EU health official blasts slow vaccine delivery, and is consulting with Canada

Jan 27 2021 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is being urged to follow the tough talk of Europe's health minister, who Wednesday accused a vaccine company of not living up to its moral and legal obligations because of delivery delays. Vaccine maker AstraZeneca was the recipient of the scathing message from Stella Kyriakides, European commissioner for health and […]

A year of COVID-19 has reversed a decade of progress helping world’s poor: Gould

Dec 19 2020 — Mike Blanchfield — OTTAWA — International Development Minister Karina Gould isn't running any victory laps despite ending 2020 by doing what so few of her political predecessors could — wrestling a sizable increase in Canadian foreign-aid spending. Gould announced a $485-million increase in Canada's $5.9-billion overseas development assistance budget this week, money earmarked for new international efforts to […]