The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) was unable to provide any evidence to support continuing Canada’s extreme federal vaccine mandates and other Covid-19 measures.
During a House of Commons health committee meeting on Wednesday, Conservative MP Michael Barrett questioned PHAC President Harpreet Kochhar to ask if the agency could provide statistics to justify maintaining mandates.
“Are you able to provide us today with the metrics that are being used to sustain or to allow those restrictions to expire at the end of the month?” asked Barrett.
“We have metrics that we use regularly. How do we provide advice? The guidance advice is based on scientific evidence on effectiveness, availability and uptake of vaccines, what is the evolving domestic and international epidemiological situation and the effectiveness of other public health measures to keep people safe,” said Kochhar.
Most countries around the world have abandoned or limited vaccine mandates and other measures. Although Canada has some of the highest vaccination rates in the world, the Liberal government has refused to alter course.
When pressed on the issue further, Kochhar admitted that the agency did not rely on any specific data to justify its mandates.
“There has to be a number that you’ve identified at which it would be acceptable in each of those epidemiologically important categories that then you would make a recommendation that now is the time to lift the mandates,” said Barrett. “So in each of those areas are you saying that there is no number?”
“This is a combination of different metrics there aren’t any specific numbers which we could actually say because it depends on the activity of the virus in the different communities as well as different settings,” said Kochhar.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing mounting pressure to end Covid-19 mandates. The travel industry has been particularly impacted with long delays and flight cancellations being reported across the country.
Several airline groups have called on the Liberals to immediately scrap the restrictions which they say are the cause of the issues, including the Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable and the CEO of Westjet.