27 November 2020

The spectre of Erin O’Toole and Michelle Rempel complaining that Canada will not be first in line for vaccines made in other countries is a rich example of political haymaking and hypocrisy. 

Canada used to have a vibrant pharma industry. But its decline can be traced to the actions and inactions of Conservative governments, beginning with Brian Mulroney’s Free Trade Agreement, continuing through to the Harper government’s utter failure to take any action at all on the chronic drug shortage problem that has plagued this country since 2010. Despite repeated warnings that we need to look to our drug security, Canada finds it more convenient to allow other nations to handle that task for us: countries with lower salaries, no benefits, and more lax environmental rules.

Justin Trudeau told it like it is. We have no ability to make vaccines, and only a shred of our former prowess in the drug-making domain. Notwithstanding Rempel’s stunning accusation that Health Minister Patty Hadju would be responsible for more deaths, neither she nor the PM caused this pandemic. 

It was caused by a naturally occurring virus that had long been predicted, and it is spread by politically distorted behaviors in response to controls, while the problems in managing it stem from politically motivated decisions in the past.