For weeks and weeks, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and every Liberal cabinet minister who could find a television camera, announced, re-announced, boasted about how many MILLIONS of Covid vaccine doses Canada had signed contracts for … as many as SIX TIMES our population’s requirements!
The largest number of vaccine doses ordered in the world … so many in fact, news outlets elsewhere in the world began chastising Canada for hoarding. It became embarrassing for some … but generally, Canadians felt reassured.
Unfortunately, Trudeau would not let us SEE the actual contracts; scrutinize what we paid; and, most importantly, where Canada would actually stand in priority/shipment/delivery schedules.
Now we know … way down the list!!!
And apparently, that was in effect well before the current production/supply difficulties occurred.
Canadians are fortunate Trudeau/Liberals were not responsible for obtaining toilet paper supplies for the nation!
Imagine all those press conferences assuring us last Fall they had ordered MILLIONS of rolls, enough for six times Canada’s needs: BUT then revealing, as our toilet paper ran out across the country, the bulk of the rolls won’t be arriving until March and beyond!!
While Canadians saw other nations … that had not loudly boasted … quietly distributing much higher numbers of the soft, absorbent supplies to their populations!
That’s what has happened with the much more critical supplies …. life-saving Covid vaccines.
Trudeau/Liberals clearly talked the talk … but let Canadians down in what they had actually negotiated and obtained for our country in early distributions of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
MANY other countries, like Canada … where vaccines are also not manufactured … did MUCH better in getting vaccine doses for their people BEFORE the recent production problems arose.
As of Friday, here are the number of doses administered per 100 population: Israel 52.64; UAE, 29; UK, 11.67; Bahrain; 8.47; US 7.91; Iceland 4.5; Serbia and Malta 5.3; Denmark 3.8; Slovenia, 3.4; Ireland 3.3; Romania 3.2; Lithuania 3.1; Poland, Spain, Portugal 2.9; Italy, 2.83; Germany 2.65; Finland 2.5; Canada 2.4 … same as Estonia.
For more details of these Covid statistics, check out the latest “Our World in Data” website: https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations.
How did other countries do so much better?
Trudeau/Liberals MUST explain WHY Canada ranks 20th in the world in vaccination rates? (Some reports suggest Canada did even poorer … 30th in the world.)
Did we not pay enough? Did we not negotiate scheduling forcefully enough? Did the companies break their agreements/commitments with Canada, while fulfilling them with other countries?
Surely, it would have been wiser not to massively overbuy (six times Canada’s needs), but instead pay more per dose to get larger numbers earlier, and free up the excess for other countries to buy, without indebting Canadian taxpayers to pay for those too!
With over 778,000 Canadians having fallen victim to Covid so far, and more than 20,000 deaths, I suspect most Canadians would have agreed with that approach.
Canadians deserve to see the details of the contracts Trudeau/Liberals signed.
I believe there were several mistakes made by the Liberal government:
Canada SHOULD NOT HAVE wasted time and efforts by engaging in co-operative research and vaccine development efforts with untrustworthy China … a $44 million project that floundered when the Xi dictatorship scuttled it;
Canada SHOULD HAVE funded/developed a vaccine production facility (or facilities) domestically, which could have produced doses under licence right here for Canadians and even assisted in meeting world needs; and,
Canada SHOULD HAVE pressed/arranged for our supposed great friend and ally, the United States, to allow some doses from Pfizer’s US plant to be shipped north, instead of having us rely totally on Pfizer’s plant in Belgium for supply.
The provinces can be criticized for vaccine distribution policies, practices and problems, but the federal government is totally responsible for the dismal failure of Canada’s early vaccine acquisitions.
Trudeau and the Liberal government have to answer for that.
(Pass it on: help others become aware/participate in the increasing role trustworthy social media is now playing in keeping Canadians informed … send them a Keeping It Real link: www.harveyoberfeld.ca )