Bob Rae: Global Coronavirus Solution to be Top Priority in Role of UN Ambassador – National

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Canada’s new Ambassador to the United Nations, Bob Rae, has said his goal will be to work towards developing a globally coordinated effort to limit the fallout from the current coronavirus crisis.Rae, former NDP premier of Ontario and interim leader of the federal Liberal Party, was appointed to the post last month when Canada’s outgoing Ambassador stepped down following the loss of the country’s candidacy to a seat on the UN Security Council, and takes on that new role next week. .

READ MORE: Bob Rae becomes Canada’s new Ambassador to the United Nations

In an interview with West Block guest host Farah Nasser, Rae weighed in on what the overseas role will look like for him.

“This is a global pandemic, which will require a global solution. So what we’ve seen so far in a number of countries has been very focused on each country, ”he said.

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“I think we’re going to need [is] to really step up our efforts to make sure we find solutions that include everyone.

“This means a vaccine available to everyone. It means making sure that no one is falling too far behind because of what has happened and that we are creating greater prosperity globally because that will also help us grow in Canada. So I would say this is my number one priority at the moment.

The post will see Rae, who last year called US President Donald Trump “deranged,” travel to New York and take on the role as the United States heads into this fall’s presidential election.

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He said he wouldn’t repeat those feelings again.

“I said a lot of things as a private citizen,” he said.

“I won’t do that anymore. The Americans are in the middle of an election campaign. We’ll just have to see what happens in this campaign… obviously we will respect whatever the American public and the American people decide.«

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How close are we to developing a vaccine for the coronavirus?

How close are we to developing a vaccine for the coronavirus?

The pandemic has infected 17.4 million people worldwide and killed 675,167 people, according to the count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

In Canada, those figures stand at 116,081 confirmed cases and 8,933 deaths.

The rapid global spread of cases first identified in China at the end of last year has prompted countries around the world to close their borders, with many citizens ordering citizens to seek shelter to varying degrees with the aim of limiting the spread of the deadly virus.

The Canadian government began rolling out hundreds of billions of dollars in support funding in March – spending that skyrocketed to push the federal deficit to $ 343 billion.

This includes funding vaccine research, paying for benefits for large sections of the population and, among other things, a now canceled plan to give a sole-source contract to the controversial WE Charity to administer a scholarship program. of studies initially budgeted at $ 912. million.

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The recent publication of the funding agreement revealed that the actual amount would be about half of that amount.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly pushed aside questions about whether his government is rushing programs too quickly by emphasizing speed that matters most. But it is the apparent inability to fully reflect how his family’s close ties to the group would look like to voters that has put the government in hot water in recent weeks in the WE Charity scandal.

Trudeau’s mother and brother were both paid by the group to attend fundraising events and spoke on several occasions at WE Day events. His wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, has also done unpaid work for the group but is reimbursed for her travel expenses.

Despite this, Trudeau admitted that he had not withdrawn from Cabinet discussions on the public service’s proposal to allow the charity to run the scholarship program.

Trudeau told the House of Commons finance committee that was studying the issue last week that he initially slowed down the Cabinet approval process for the deal because he knew there would be “closer scrutiny.” Given his family ties.

Two weeks later, however, Cabinet approved the proposal and Trudeau told the committee he didn’t think at the time that he needed to recuse himself because the Ethics Commissioner said he It was normal for his wife to have her travel expenses reimbursed by the group. .

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The Prime Minister was questioned by all members of the opposition at the finance committee meeting last week, with many questions surrounding why he did not withdraw if he realized that the deal could give the impression of a conflict of interest.

They also looked into whether the fact that he is now facing his third ethics inquiry suggests he has a blind spot when it comes to assessing potential conflicts of interest.

“Does the Prime Minister have an ethical blind spot?” Nasser asked Rae.

” No, I do not think so. Not at all. I think he is a very honest person. I think he’s someone who shows good judgment. I think he’s someone who cares a lot about people, ”he replied.

“I don’t think it talks about Mr. Trudeau’s ethics or his honesty or judgment. I think it speaks to a government that made decisions very quickly and made them under very difficult circumstances.

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