Phil's Editorials
Protecting Health and Helping Save Lives

November 24, 2014

Canada is well prepared to prevent the spread of serious infectious diseases, such as Ebola. Building on experience with SARS and H1N1, our hospitals have strong infection control procedures in place.

It is recommended that Canadians avoid non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Travelers arriving in Canada from affected countries are subject to a mandatory health assessment, and Canadian hospitals have strong infection control procedures in place. Canadian visa officers have temporarily paused the processing of visa applications from foreign nationals who have been present in a country designated by the World Health Organization as having widespread cases of Ebola, unless essential in exceptional cases. Our Government is also posting additional inspectors at airports.

The Chief Public Health Officer of Canada is in regular contact with provincial and territorial counterparts, helping ensure we are prepared in the event a case is identified in Canada. The federal government is ready to support provincial and territorial health systems with emergency response teams, lab expertise to confirm a diagnosis, emergency supplies such as masks, face shields and gloves, and doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine.

In addition, our Conservative Government has contributed two diagnostic labs and significant funding to help combat Ebola and save lives in West Africa. We have provided over $2.5 million worth of Personal Protective Equipment to the World Health Organization for use in West Africa.

We are also increasing our support for research into vaccines and treatment for Ebola.

Canadians can be sure that their federal, provincial and territorial governments are prepared to deal with threats to public health, and continue to take all necessary steps to help protect the health and safety of Canadians.