Conservatives pass motion that Liberals say will threaten Canada's access to COVID-19 vaccines

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Rempel Garner said the government should welcome scrutiny, which is Parliament’s responsibility, to ensure the country is on the right track in its response.

“There is no shame. In fact, it is the job of Parliament to ask these questions, we need to understand where we’re going.”

Anand said the government was willing to release details on contracts when the risk was over and pointed to $6 billion in contracts that had already been disclosed with more to come. She said the government wanted to protect its ability to negotiate while some supplies like vaccines were still in high demand.

She warned that without the promise of confidentiality, the government could struggle to secure confidentiality.

“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.”

After the vote, Liberal House leader Pablo Rodriguez said he was disappointed in the outcome, but said the government would work to meet the demands the House of Commons.

“I am disappointed that the opposition parties didn’t listen to our health experts, to people from the private sector, from the companies producing the vaccine,” he said. The public servants will do their best. They are asking for tons of documents from the same public sectors workers who are delivering for Canadians.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole said the questions his party was asking were non-partisan and straightforward. He said the Liberals made this a political issue and accused Prime Minister of wanting an election.

“When Canadians are getting rapid tests shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Canada’s place in the vaccine queue shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Improving our pandemic response shouldn’t be a partisan issue. It’s shameful that the Liberals keep trying to make them one.”

Unlike last week’s Conservative motion that became a test of confidence, the Liberals did not make the motion a confidence vote, meaning there will be no trip to the polls as a result of the defeat.


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