Photo By: Olga Kononenko from Unsplash

As many countries around the world currently face a fourth wave of COVID-19, Brock’s Centre for Canadian Studies has decided to compare how Canadian and U.S health systems have been handling the pandemic in the first part of their Voices Across the Border Speaker Series.

Voices Across the Border is a series of three panels hosted by Brock’s Centre for Canadian Studies in collaboration with Niagara University and Bridgewater State University. The panels see professors from each of the three universities discussing specific topics as they relate to Canada and the U.S. This is the second year that the event is being hosted by the centre.

“We started [Voices Across the Border] last year during the pandemic because we thought, as terrible as the pandemic was, being online gave us the opportunity to do things we couldn’t do as easily in person,” said Dan Malleck, Director for the Centre for Canadian Studies. “The series gives us a really easy way to highlight the scholarship at the three universities and talk about some fairly heavy topics where we thought it would be useful to have that sort of comparative cross-border perspective.”

This year, the first panel that will be hosted in the series will focus on ‘Comparing Health Systems in a Pandemic’. In this session, panelists will be comparing how Canada and the U.S. are dealing with repeated waves of COVID-19 and the subsequent political and social reactions that have occurred in both countries.

“The issue of healthcare is on the top of everyone’s mind, so it is a timely discussion to have, particularly because we have the Canada-U.S. perspective,” said Malleck. “I think it’s useful to go beyond the stereotypes we have of US health care and Canadian health care and look more at what actually happened; what was strong and not so strong; and what we have learned from the pandemic so far.”

The event, which is free of cost, will be hosted through Microsoft Teams and will take place on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. All members of the Brock and local community are invited to attend, though pre-registration is necessary to gain access to the session. Students who attend the event will gain credit towards the completion of their Campus-Wide Co-Curriculum (CWC).

Panelists this year include Christine Verni, Dean of the College of Nursing at Niagara University; Terrance Wade, Professor in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences at Brock; and Catherine Womack, Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Bridgewater State University.

“The idea is really to engage with people who look at [the pandemic] from different viewpoints,” said Malleck. “All the panelists have their own unique backgrounds, so the goal is to ask some probing questions and figure out how our health care system in Canada compares from a variety of perspectives.”

As this panel represents the first of three such events to be hosted in the Voices Across the Border series for this year, students who are unable to attend this discussion will be able to engage in the series later in the year.

Individuals who want to register for the Voices Across the Border event are able to do so on Eventbrite. Those who are interested in attending are encouraged to register for the event prior to Thursday, Oct. 7. To find out more about the event, email [email protected].