The Federal government has 30 days to hand over all documents related to its pandemic response after a Conservative motion was pushed through Parliament on Monday.
The motion, supported by the Bloc, NDP and Greens, grants the House of Commons health committee access to all emails, notes, and documents for the examination of every aspect of the federal COVID-19 response. Matters of national security will be redacted.
Records from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Privy Council Office, Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and cabinet ministers’ offices will be included.
Michelle Rempel Garner introduced the motion which will allow the health committee to review the Liberal’s pandemic plans (past, present, future). She said it was Parliament’s responsibility to ensure that the COVID-19 response is heading in the right direction.
“This is a wonderful step for Canadians that ultimately will keep them healthier and safe,” said Rempel Garner in an interview with CTV.
Liberal Procurement Minister, Anita Anand, argued that without the promise of confidentiality, the release of contract details could threaten the government’s deals with vaccine and PPE suppliers.
“I do not want to be back here to explain to Canadians that because of the disclosure that we were forced to make, we were not able to secure vaccines or PPE for Canadians because our suppliers chose to walk away,” said Anand.
Documentation presented to the health committee should include information on:
- Communications with the World Health Organization (WHO)
- The use of data from the government’s COVID Alert app
- Plans and preparations for the pandemic
- Purchasing of personal protective equipment
- Purchasing of COVID-19 testing products, lab equipment and more
- Records related to the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force
- Information surrounding border closures and travel restrictions
What details will be uncovered as a part of this review?