Alberta Senator Doug Black is pushing the federal government to begin funding a Canadian company with Alberta roots looking to further develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Based on similar vaccine development seen in the U.S. and Germany, Providence Therapeutics manufactures mRNA vaccines for human use.
Black says the time is right for the Canadian government, as well as the provincial governments in Ontario and Alberta, to do all they can to get a Canadian company closer to the finish line.
“I think we can all agree that until we get a vaccine, family life, business life, school life, cultural life, nothing is getting back to normal,” he says. “I’m saying every opportunity that Canada has to come up with what I’m calling a ‘maple leaf solution’ needs to be done, and I’m surprised it’s not being done.”
Black argues the world understands the answer to COVID-19 is a vaccine and with the Calgary-based bureau currently in animal trials for its latest vaccine, time is of the essence when it comes to the next phase.
“They’re looking for $35 million, which, to you and I, is beyond a fortune, but to the Government of Canada, in this environment, it’s just not a significant amount of money.”
Black suggests funding through the Strategic Innovation Fund, which when announced in 2018, offered up $1.26 billion over five years for projects of this magnitude