INTRODUCTION TO THE SPECIAL SENATE COMMITTEE ON THE LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND FUTURE PREPAREDNESS
The Special Senate Committee on the Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic and Future Preparedness was created on April 11, 2020 to examine and report on the various impacts caused by the coronavirus pandemic in Canada, as well as the initiatives that have been undertaken to address this crisis, to carry out a broad consultation of Canadians to determine the challenges and specific needs of various regions and communities, and to identify lessons learned to prepare for future pandemics. Its mandate includes in particular:
- The assessment of the key milestones and evolution of the coronavirus spread, both abroad and in Canada;
- The review of the federal government’s use and effectiveness of legislation, policies, federal-provincial-territorial collaboration initiatives, and fiscal and spending measures during this public health, social and economic emergency;
- The examination of the specific impacts of the pandemic and its management, including on the Canadian public, public health, healthcare and private sectors, federal departments, agencies and Crown corporations, essential workers, vulnerable groups, Indigenous peoples, as well as linguistic and cultural communities;
- The review of Canada’s compliance with its international public health obligations and cooperation with other countries and international organizations;
- The exploration of how intergovernmental and international relationships can be addressed and strengthened at the national and international levels, while considering the division of jurisdictional powers for control of communicable diseases, safety and security of supply chains, and enhancement of public health investments and research; and
- The development of recommendations to improve Canada’s preparedness and response for future pandemics.