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

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

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”

Man brought up on three charges after holding tow truck driver at knifepoint in Lac la Hache

The suspect produced a knife and held the driver against his will for upwards of 45 minutes

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

Most Read