Established by the President of the Royal Society of Canada in April 2020, the RSC Task Force on COVID-19 was mandated to provide evidence-informed perspectives on major societal challenges in response to and recovery from COVID-19. 

The Task Force established a series of Working Groups to rapidly develop Policy Briefings, with the objective of supporting policy makers with evidence to inform their decisions. 

Full Report

Executive Summary

Overview of “Strengthening a One Health Approach to Emerging Zoonoses

Given the enormous global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, greatly exacerbated by the intra-pandemic emergence of novel variants of concern (VOCs), and multiple, ongoing outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Canada (Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2022), there is a pressing need for a deeper understanding of the interface where humans and other animals interact in their shared environment, and the intersecting biological, ecological, and socioecological factors contributing to the emergence, spread, and impact of zoonotic diseases.

Authors of the Report

John Amuasi, Senior Lecturer, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology School of Public Health, Head, Department of Global health, Ghana

Arinjay Banerjee, Research Scientist and Principal Investigator, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), University of Saskatchewan

Hélène Carabin, Professor, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Epidemiology and One Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and School of Public Health, Université de Montréal

Joe Copper Jack, Indigenous Knowledge Holder, Yukon First Nation Elder, Land Relationship Planner; Senior Land and Policy Coordinator, Yukon Land Use Planning Council

Claire Jardine, Associate Professor and Regional Director, Canadian Wildlife Cooperative for Ontario and Nunavut; Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph

Bogdan Jaroszewicz, Professor, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Biology, and Director, Białowieża Geobotanical Station

Greg Keefe, President and Vice-Chancellor (Interim), Dean Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island

Susan Kutz, Professor, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Arctic One Health: Healthy Animals Healthy Communities. Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary

Deborah McGregor (Anishinabe), Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice at York University

Samira Mubareka (Chair), Clinician Scientist, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto

Lily Nicholson, MSc Student, Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, University College London

Katarzyna Nowak, Assistant Professor, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Biology, Białowieża Geobotanical Station

Jane Parmley, Associate Professor, Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph

Brad Pickering, Head, Special Pathogens, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease

Maureen G. Reed, Distinguished Professor, UNESCO Chair in Biocultural Diversity, Sustainability, Reconciliation and Renewal, University of Saskatchewan

Johanne Saint-Charles, Full Professor, Communication sociale et publique and Director Institut Santé et société, Université du Québec à Montréal

Katarzyna Simonienko, Psychiatrist, Forest Therapy Center, Allenort Psychiatric Clinic, Bialystok, Poland

Trevor Smith, Deputy Director & Senior Program Manager, Biological & Chemical Security, UNSCR 1540 Implementation, Global Affairs Canada

J. Scott Weese, Professor, Ontario Veterinary College; Director, University of Guelph Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses

For further information or for media requests, contact Erika Kujawski at 


This report has also been published in the FACETS collection of RSC Policy Briefings. The report is available here

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