Justin Trudeau Rejects Plea From Premiers To Share Details About The Vaccine Contracts



Image Credit – Global News


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has rejected the appeals from the country’s provincial and territorial premiers on Thursday to release details of the contracts the federal government has signed with various vaccine manufacturers.

Trudeau and the premiers had held a First Ministers Meeting by teleconference on late Thursday afternoon, the 26th such call since the beginning of the pandemic.

But this meeting comes in as the federal government is under intense pressure to explain disruptions in the delivery schedule of vaccines from Pfizer-Biontech and Moderna.

Both the manufacturers are unable to provide the government with any certainty in terms of the shipments of the vaccine as either firm will be able to deliver through March.

During the hour-long FMM, Trudeau had made his pitch to the premiers that they needed to help him restore the public confidence in Canada’s vaccination plan. Trudeau has repeatedly said that Canada should have received four million doses of the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine and 2 million doses of the Moderna vaccine by the end of March.

He said that he expects that enough vaccine will have been delivered to Canada so that by September, any Canadian who wants a vaccine will be able to get one.

According to the sources in both the premiers’ offices and the PMO, the premiers were united in their frustration with the vaccine distributions.

For his part, Trudeau encouraged the premiers to tell their constituents what he’s been saying publicly, that the weekly disruptions in supplies are to be expected, but that he has been assured by the CEOs of both Pfizer and Moderna that they will meet their contractual obligations to Canada to provide a combined 6 million doses by the end of March.

Trudeau referenced that in addition to speaking this week to the global chief executives of both Pfizer and Moderna, he also had a telephone call with AstraZeneca’s CEO. AstraZeneca now has a vaccine candidate up for review by Health Canada and Canada is in line to acquire millions of its vaccine, given that it’s approved.

But as per the aides of more than one premier who participated in the meeting, the premiers told Trudeau that the public confidence in the federal government’s ability to deliver on those commitments is beginning to fade.

As a result, Quebec Premier Francois Legault asked Trudeau to provide the first ministers with the details of vaccine contracts that the government has signed.

Trudeau refused so, saying that it would not be productive. Similarly, Trudeau and his cabinet have rejected multiple requests since December to provide the details of the vaccine. Additionally, the Intergovernmental; Affairs Minister, Dominic LeBlanc has said that he would consider the requests and determine as to what parts of the contracts, the federal government might be able to disclose.

While vaccine distribution was the dominant topic of discussion, Trudeau used the occasion to encourage the premiers to put to use the millions of rapid test kits that Ottawa has procured to use.


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