Public has power in fight against COVID-19
Meanwhile, provinces created chief officers that operate at arm's length from the elected governments that appoint them. That’s allowed jurisdictions to respond based on local needs, like whether to close schools, while still co-ordinating national responses and reporting the data centrally.
Ian Culbert, head of the Canadian Public Health Association, contrasts that with the United States.
The Trump administration has had the White House take over communication from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and local mayors have often been tasked with informing the public.
Canadian authorities instead have a protocol that outlines jurisdictions and reporting duties, Culbert notes.
"We did pandemic planning, and those plans weren't gathering dust on a shelf; they were kept up to date and now we're implementing them."