OTTAWA – Michelle Rempel Garner, Shadow Minister for Health, issued the following statement regarding the Trudeau government’s COVID-19 response in the Speech from the Throne:
“Six weeks ago, Justin Trudeau shuttered Parliament for absolutely no reason other than to distract Canadians from his involvement in the WE charity scandal. His decision to distract and delay has resulted in a Throne Speech that has no new plan and provides no comfort to Canadians who are paying for his inaction in lost lives, lost jobs and lost time.
“Justin Trudeau had the opportunity to show leadership and present Canadians with a clear path forward through the pandemic. However, his Speech from the Throne did not address three key areas that Conservatives believe need to be rectified in order to both keep Canadians safe and to give them economic certainty.
“First, Trudeau must acknowledge and rectify a series of critical failures that led to the spread of COVID-19 in Canada and continue to cause confusion. These include:
- Telling Canadians that there was no person-to-person spread of COVID-19;
- Telling Canadians that border control measures and masks didn’t work;
- Sending critical supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) to China when we had a shortage;
- Abdicating responsibility for the pandemic to the provinces,
- Failing to develop new systems in Health Canada to efficiently review rapid and at home testing systems that our allies have already deployed;
- And shuttering the federal early warning system for public health dangers.
“Conservatives will press for a public review of these issues to ensure they are addressed. Now, seven months into the pandemic, the only ‘plan’ Trudeau has is another economic shutdown. Why? How can Canadians be asked to trust the government to move forward using the same playbook that has already failed them?
“Second, the Liberal government needs to recognize that another economic shutdown is not feasible for any Canadian. Most Canadians cannot afford to take two weeks off of work to quarantine if they come up in a contact tracing list. Most Canadians can’t afford to wait six hours in line for a COVID-19 test. Conservatives will press Justin Trudeau to actually do his job to develop solutions that both keep Canadians safe and allow our economy to remain open.
“Third, the Trudeau government must start preparing for another potential pandemic now. Conservatives will be pressing the government to start a new pandemic preparedness plan that ensures that Canadians won’t have to suffer due to the Liberals’ lack of planning again.”