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Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is almost entirely led by women

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians have been relying on the guidance of a number of health officials who have hosted regular press conferences to keep the public safe and informed.

These sessions, along with those from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have been moments that many in Canada look forward to as their trusted daily source of news about what is a very scary and dark situation for all of us.

And some are noticing that most of the faces of Canada’s novel coronavirus updates are, uniquely, women.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, Federal Minister of Health Patty Hadju and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland have been on TV screens and social media feeds almost every day from coast to coast, alongside people like B.C. Health Minister Dr. Bonnie Henry, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott and Toronto Medical Officer for Health Dr. Eileen de Villa in the hardest-hit parts of the country.

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There have also been many appearances by Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante and Director of Public Health Dr. Mylène Drouin, as well as P.E.I. Chief Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison, Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Newfoundland and Labrador Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald and Ottawa Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches, among others.

These faces have become familiar to all of us, with residents even writing songs about them, putting them on t-shirts and paying homage to the quirks of each.

Serving as unwavering authority figures, these women have helped to disseminate valuable facts and advise citizens on next steps, also feeling like friends we’ve come to know will have our backs. 

As we all look to our leaders for comfort and instruction during this trying time, it is inspirational to see that many Canadian women are absolutely shining in fields and roles often dominated by men.

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