“The Canadian Health Ministry has now approved the first Canadian clinical trials for a possible Corona vaccine at the Canadian Center for Vaccine Medicine at Dalhousie University,” Trudeau said at a news conference in Ottawa on Saturday.
Trudd added that the Canadian National Research Council will work with manufacturers, so that if these vaccine trials are successful, we can produce and distribute them here in the country.
“This is encouraging news,” Trudeau added, without explicitly mentioning that the vaccine is under development in China.
The Canadian National Research Council (NRC) announced on Tuesday that it will cooperate with Chinese company CanSino Biologics, one of the few companies in the world that already has a vaccine used in clinical trials.
The Chinese government supports and partially funds the vaccine effort. The Canadian Research Council is the largest research and innovation institution in government.
Ian Stewart, president of the National Research Council, said in a statement on Tuesday: “The board is proud of its ongoing partnership with Chinese company CanSino Biologics, and we are working hard to achieve success in this new dynamic collaboration.”
Canada’s relations with the Chinese government have been strained since the arrest of Huawei CEO Meng Wanzo in Vancouver in 2018, based on an American memo. She is currently under house arrest in Vancouver, and refuses to extradite her to the United States on charges that she and Huawei violated US sanctions on Iran.
Meanwhile, China has been holding Canadian businessman Michael Spaur and former Canadian diplomat Michael Coffregre since December 2018, a clear revenge for the arrest of Wanzo, daughter of Huawei’s founder.
In a study published by the Angus Red Institute this week, Canadians’ attitudes toward China reached a new low this month.
The institute reported that only 14% of Canadian adults say they have a positive opinion of China, down more than half just 6 months ago.