Conservatives want emergency meeting of House health committee


Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says his MPs are moving to hold an emergency meeting of the House of Commons Health Committee to examine what he called “critical gaps” in the federal government’s ability to manage COVID-19’s continued spread.

He said that while lockdowns and “restrictions of liberty” were required earlier in the pandemic, now that Canada has a high vaccination rate and access to COVID-19 testing and other tools, it shouldn’t be necessary for the country to be starting 2022 under a new series of restrictions.

“Millions of children are once again doing school from home. Parents, small business owners, and everyday Canadians are once again being asked to put their lives on hold, to sacrifice their personal liberties, and to deal with more anxiety and uncertainty,” O’Toole told reporters Thursday.

“In a population that is now largely fully vaccinated, in fact the action and inaction by the Trudeau government is normalizing lockdowns and restrictions as the primary tool to fight the latest COVID-19 variant. It didn’t have to be this way,” he said.

O’Toole, who received his COVID-19 booster this week, said that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should be doing more than giving “pep talks” to the country, saying that in his view the federal Liberals have failed to learn lessons from earlier pandemic waves.

“Canada desperately needs federal leadership to get our lives back. We need to ensure that all of the problems, all communities, all schools, all workplaces have the tools they need to help manage COVID to ensure we can return to normal as quickly as possible and keep things there,” he said.

The House of Commons is not scheduled to resume until Jan. 31, however, if at least four members of a committee call for an emergency meeting, one can be convened.

O’Toole said his party wants the committee to look at why Canada is unable to “effectively manage COVID-19 variants despite the high vaccination rates we now have as a country.” 


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