New cabinet committee struck to oversee federal response to COVID-19

A new cabinet committee has been tasked with overseeing Canada’s response to COVID-19.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office Wednesday said with the outbreak evolving rapidly around the world, the committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland will complement the work done by the Incident Response Group, meeting regularly to co-ordinate and prepare for a response to the health and economic impacts of the virus.

In the statement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the committee will work with provincial, territorial and international partners to make sure Canada’s response “takes all possible measures to prevent and limit the spread of the virus in Canada.”

“We take the international spread of COVID-19 seriously, and Canadians can be assured that their government and health officials are working tirelessly to keep them safe,” the statement reads.

Other ministers on the eight-member committee include Health Minister Patty Hajdu, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

Kirsty Duncan, deputy government House leader and scientist who wrote a book on the origins of the 1918 Spanish flu, will also be a core participant of the meetings.

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