Download as PDF



OTTAWA, Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Pursuant to the order of the Senate of April 11, 2020, the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology met this day by videoconference at 11:32 a.m. [ET], the chair, the Honourable Chantal Petitclerc, presiding. This meeting is considered to have taken place in the parliamentary precinct.

Members of the committee present by videoconference: The Honourable Senators Campbell, Dasko, Forest-Niesing, Gold, Griffin, Kutcher, Manning, Martin, Mégie, Moodie, Munson, Omidvar, Petitclerc, Poirier, Seidman (15).

Other senators present by videoconference: The Honourable Senators Black (Ontario), LaBoucane-Benson, Lankin, P.C., and Pate (4).

Participating in the meeting: Keli Hogan, Vincent Labrosse and Joëlle Nadeau, Procedural Clerks, Committees Directorate; Laura Munn-Rivard and Sonya Norris, Analysts, Parliamentary Information and Research Services, Library of Parliament; Ben Silverman, Communications Officer, Communications Directorate.

Also present: The official reporters of the Senate.

Pursuant to the order of reference adopted by the Senate on Saturday, April 11, 2020, the committee began its study on the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

WITNESSES (by videoconference):

Health Canada:

Kendal Weber, Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy Branch;

Pierre Sabourin, Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Products and Food Branch.

Public Health Agency of Canada:

Dr. Howard Njoo, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer;

Cindy Evans, Acting Vice-President, Emergency Management.

Public Services and Procurement Canada:

Michael Mills, Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Real Property Services;

Lorenzo Ieraci, Director General, Office of Small and Medium Enterprises.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada:

Carla St. Croix, Executive Director, Strategic Integration and Competitiveness Policy, Strategic Policy Branch;

Nathalie Durand, Executive Director, Sector Development and Analysis Directorate, Market and Industry Services Branch.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency:

Theresa Iuliano, Vice President, Operations Branch.

Statistics Canada:

Karen Mihorean, Director General, Census Subject Matter, Social Insights, Integration and Innovation;

Josée Bégin, Director General, Labour Market, Education and Socio-Economic Well-Being;

Ron Gravel, Director, Centre for Population Health Data.

The chair made a statement.

Dr. Njoo, Ms. Weber and Mr. Mills each made a statement and, together with Mr. Sabourin, Ms. Evans, and Mr. Ieraci, answered questions.

At 1:26 p.m., the committee suspended.

At 3:37 p.m., the committee resumed.

Ms. St. Croix, Ms. Bégin and Ms. Iuliano each made a statement and, together with Ms. Mihorean, Mr. Gravel, and Ms. Durand, answered questions.

It was agreed that the committee proceed in camera to discuss a draft agenda (future business).

At 5:33 p.m., the committee suspended.

At 5:34 p.m., pursuant to rule 12-16(1)(d), the committee proceeded in camera to consider a draft agenda (future business).

At 6:03 p.m., the committee adjourned to the call of the chair.


Daniel Charbonneau

Clerk of the Committee