March 2021 MLA Report – Calgary Elbow – Doug Schweitzer

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Calgary Elbow Doug Schweitzer

We Can Still Buy Vaccines from Canadian Companies

Nothing is more important to relaunching our economy than getting vaccines into the arms of Albertans. We have nurses and pharmacists ready to get the job done. But where is the vaccine? Israel has it. The United Kingdom has it. The United Arab Emirates has it. Calgary based Providence Therapeutics has developed a COVID vaccine that is ready for human trials and can be manufactured right here in Alberta.

This pandemic has made it clear that relying solely on international supply chains for things as highly coveted as personal protective equipment, ventilators, or a vaccine can be a risky choice. We need to rethink procurement in Alberta, and across Canada, to ensure that we can always protect the health of Canadians.

Alberta has started to do this when it comes to the domestic production of personal protective equipment. We also tackled the potential lack of ventilators at the beginning of the pandemic when Calgary-based Exergy Solutions designed and produced two hundred ventilators for Alberta Health Services with their 3D printing technology. Alberta’s entrepreneurs can and want to deliver when given the opportunity.

Dr. Michael Houghton at the University of Alberta’s Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute recently received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work identifying the virus that causes Hepatitis C. From treatments for Alzheimer’s disease to cancer therapies, their team at the University of Alberta is working on numerous ground-breaking vaccines and drugs that could lay the foundation for a pharmaceutical industry in Alberta. We cannot miss out on the opportunity to develop this industry in Alberta.

More can and should be done by the Federal government to invest in home-grown innovators so we can build a domestic supply chain and see these companies expand into manufacturing. Developing these opportunities has the added benefit of diversifying our economy and building on the health and life sciences foundation that we already have in Alberta.

Let’s never put Canadians in this position again, where our national health and safety is solely reliant on foreign companies. We need a team Canada approach for today and tomorrow.

MLA – Calgary Elbow Doug Schweitzer proudly serves the following Communities: Altadore, Bel-Aire , Britannia, Elbow Park, Elboya, Erlton, Garrison Green, Garrison Woods, Glamorgan, Lincoln Park, Lower Mount Royal, Marda Loop, Mayfair, Meadowlark Park, Mount Royal, North Glenmore Park, Parkhill, Rideau Park, River Park, Roxboro, South Calgary, Upper Mount Royal, Windsor Park