Erin O’Toole seeking more transparency from Liberals on vaccine rollout

After calling for this week’s emergency parliamentary debate on Canada’s vaccine roll out, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is continuing to press the Liberal government for more transparency on its inoculation plan. 

“I think part of the concern Canadians have is the prime minister’s own statements change by the day,” O’Toole told CBC News Network’s Power & Politics Thursday. 

“We need transparency on when people can expect to be vaccinated, which groups will be vaccinated first, how quickly we can get them out,” he told host Vassy Kapelos. 

He said the federal government’s pledge that every Canadian who wants a vaccine will be able to get one by the end of September simply cannot be met by the government’s own numbers. 

“Canadians need some certainty here, so if they have to adjust the date, adjust the date, it’s better to be transparent with Canadians,” O’Toole said.  

The Conservative leader said that one reason the goal would not be achieved is because this week Canada is getting no vaccines. And next week the number of vaccines will be reduced because of interruptions in Pfizer’s supply chain. 

Pfizer is currently retooling its manufacturing facility in Belgium, which produces Canada’s supply, in order to increase the number of doses it can produce this year from 1.2 billion to 2 billion. 

The company explained that retooling means a cut to supplies in the short term. The firm said it’s aiming to ramp up vaccine production after the refit has been completed. 

The federal government said that despite disruptions it has assurances from the company that Canada will receive the 4 million doses it contracted Pfizer to deliver by the end of March. 

The Conservative leader said he wants the federal government to release some of the contracts with vaccine suppliers so Members of Parliament can scrutinize the details of the agreements the federal government has signed to secure its vaccine portfolio.

“All we want to see is; what is this portfolio, on what timeframe, how many of the orders are real orders as opposed to options to buy,” O’Toole said.

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