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Feds face new Conservative push for COVID-19 disclosures

A day after dodging a confidence vote, the Liberals are facing a new Conservative challenge in proposing another committee deep dive into the federal government’s COVID-19 response.

OTTAWA —

The second Conservative opposition day motion of the week is being debated in the House of Commons on Thursday, and it’s calling for wide-sweeping disclosures on a spread of health-focused policy decisions related to the pandemic.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said Thursday that while it’s true his caucus has no confidence in the Liberals, he doesn’t think these calls for COVID-19 answers should be something the Liberals look to go to the polls over.

Defending the motion he said that the Conservatives had no choice but to take the push for this study into Canada’s response so far to the House, as attempts to have the conversation at committee have been met with Liberal resistance.

“They’ve been inactive, they’ve been slow, they’ve been late. We will continue to do our jobs. They are the ones playing politics,” he said.

“Borders stayed open, mask-wearing guidance changed, federal aid programs rolled out slowly, and now, we are falling well behind our allies and securing future COVID-19 vaccines and approving and rolling out rapid testing,” O’Toole said. “It needs to be reviewed.”

Speaking to the motion, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said that much like the contentious anti-corruption committee proposal, what the Conservatives are seeking would impede on the government’s ability to focus on responding to the ongoing health and economic threat the pandemic poses.

“We need to stay focused on what matters now… You don’t do the post-battle review in the middle of the fight,” Hajdu said.

She said the motion appears “specifically designed” to make it “such a challenge…

Rachel Aiello, Rachel Aiello

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