The CPC is calling on Canada’s public service to investigate the decision by the Public Health Agency of Canada not to hold briefings to update Canadians on the COVID-19 pandemic during the election.
In a letter signed by Conservative candidate, Michael Barrett, who served as the party’s ethics critic in the last Parliament, the party alleges that the decision not to hold any briefings since the election was announced violates the Caretaker Convention. This dictates that public servants should simply be caretakers during a federal election, continue as usual and not make any decision that could influence the campaign.
“Political interference directing the PHAC to change its manner of health briefings, to take into account the fact of the 44th general election, requires an immediate investigation,” Barrett wrote to Janice Charette, interim clerk of the Privy Council.
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“Such conduct clearly violates the Caretaker Convention, and importantly, is interfering in a crucial public health function in the midst of a pandemic. Further, it was wrong for Justin Trudeau to presume that he can supplant the PHAC as the source for ‘health briefings’ as he campaigns as a partisan during the election.”
The agency has not yet responded to a request for comment, but in a statement Wednesday, it said Dr. Theresa Tam will keep updating Canadians, but will do so through weekly statements rather than briefings.
This is also the second time since the start of the election that Barrett has called on the Privy Council to investigate a potential breach of the caretaker convention. On August 17th, Barrett wrote to Charette to call for an investigation into why the government’s vaccination policy for employees had been removed from a federal government website.
“Vaccine policies are already a point of discussion within this election,” Barrett wrote. “On close inspection, the vaccine policy set by the Liberal government mirrors that of the Conservative Party of Canada, despite the Liberal Party of Canada’s unfounded critiques of our policy. When members of the media noted this similarity, the government policy was deleted from [the] public-facing website operated by the Chief Human Resources Officer.”
Yet more tricks and corruption from the Trudeau government.
How convenient that as COVID-19 cases are rising again in Canada, with the country into a fourth wave, that the Public Health Agency of Canada and die-hard Liberal, Theresa Tam, should choose to halt COVID briefings.
If the briefings continued as normal, the Canadian public would realize that Trudeau is not all he’s cracked up to be, and certainly no saviour when it comes to protecting Canadians from the Delta variant.
(Photo credit: Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)