Detroit Regional Chamber > Consul General of Canada Joseph Comartin: U.S. and Canada Work Together to Stop Virus Spread

Consul General of Canada Joseph Comartin: U.S. and Canada Work Together to Stop Virus Spread

May 1, 2020

Consul General of Canada Joseph Comartin spoke with the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Vice President of Automotive and Mobility Glenn Stevens Jr. in a Tele-Town Hall on how the U.S. and Canada are working in collaboration to prevent the spread of COVID-19 between the two countries and how businesses are stepping up to fulfill personal protection equipment (PPE) needs.

Limiting Transmission Across the Border 

Comartin said that the strong rapport between the two countries has played a major factor in their success working together. Currently, the border between the U.S. and Canada is closed to nonessential travel in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. Those with essential jobs on either side of the border can cross to get to work, and essential items are still being driven over the border.

“What happened here is a really good indication of the type of relationship that we have,” said Comartin on the nations’ ability to work together to address mutual issues during the pandemic.

Businesses Step Up

Comartin acknowledged the businesses stepping up on both sides of the border to manufacture PPE. Cooperation between the private sector businesses and the government has been crucial during this crisis, he said.

“What struck me more as I was looking at the analysis that we’ve done is the companies on both sides are private sector companies doing that kind of pivoting,” said Comartin. “A lot of times doing it in collaboration with their counterpart on the other side of the border.”

One notable example is a company that makes hockey equipment that has pivoted to manufacture face shields for the healthcare workers on the front lines, said Comartin. Continued collaboration between the U.S. and Canada’s businesses and government will be critical as the region moves into recovery mode.