Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, a liberal MP, seeks an impartial audit of how the federal government handled the Covid-19 pandemic.
When it comes to how it handles emergencies, Erskine-Smith told the National Post that the government needs to be more “accountable and transparent.”
“We need a greater level of accountability and transparency. And so in this case, we need the Health Minister ideally to identify the key drivers of pandemic risks, describe how Canadian activities contribute to that risk, and then put in place measures to mitigate that risk,” said Erskine-Smith.
“In a perfect world, we’d be striking a committee of people who are much smarter than me and with relevant expertise to answer that very question.”
The federal government claims it is committed to reviewing its own response to the pandemic but still haven’t made any concreate steps to fulfill that commitment.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant and complex health, social and economic impacts on our society. To better inform preparations and responses to future health emergencies, we know how important it is to take stock of the lessons learned through this pandemic,” said a spokesperson for Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos’ office.
“The government has committed to a COVID response review, and more information will be communicated in due time.”
Erskine-Smith introduced a private member’s bill earlier this year to start a more thorough examination and urge the government to revise its pandemic response strategy.
“There is a worry that we don’t learn the appropriate lessons and one of those lessons has to be that we have stronger public accountability for all future governments, whatever political stripe,” explained Erskine-Smith.
Erskine-Smith publicly questioned whether the threshold was fulfilled to justify such emergency powers when the Liberal government used the Emergencies Act.
“I’m skeptical that the strict legal test was met for the act’s invocation and I’m not convinced that the Emergencies Act measures should exist beyond today,” Erskine-Smith said at the time.