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The Liberals are counter-proposing with a special committee to examine the billions of dollars of government spending on the pandemic, ostensibly to improve responses to future pandemic emergencies.
But the Trudeau government has refused to disclose the names of 41 companies that received government contracts for pandemic supplies worth more than $1 billion — 18% of total spending of $6 billion — primarily for masks, but also for gloves and testing equipment.
The government is also refusing to disclose the individual value of five contracts to four companies — three of which it also refuses to identify — that total $137 million.
Huffington Post reported Oct. 16 that the Trudeau government invoked a national security exemption so that it did not have to publicly report on the “vast majority” of this spending at the start of the pandemic.
A government spokesman said “nearly all” of the contracts have now been publicly posted.
But according to the government’s procurement website, it is still withholding the names of 41 companies and, in some cases, the amounts of money they received, totalling more than $1 billion in pandemic contracts (I counted).
The government says this is necessary to “protect Canadians” by “ensuring these sources of supply remain available in Canada” due to “intense competition.”
But obviously, if the Trudeau government won’t fully disclose this information, it will be impossible for opposition MPs to fully examine it.
Perhaps the Trudeau Liberals are telling the truth about the need for secrecy.
But based on their record to date, why would anyone believe them?