question period — Public Services and Procurement

COVID-19 Vaccine Procurement

February 16, 2021

Hon. Yonah Martin (Deputy Leader of the Opposition)

Honourable senators, my question for the government leader in the Senate concerns the slow pace of vaccinations in our country. Over the last three weeks, my province of British Columbia received just 21,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The U.S. vaccinates that many every 30 minutes. Canadians are becoming increasingly agitated over the secrecy surrounding the pace of vaccinations. Last Friday, a committee in the other place tried to request those questions, but Liberal members filibustered for hours, denying Canadians answers.

Leader, if your government has nothing to hide, why won’t you release the details?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate)

Thank you for your question. The delays in deliveries are a matter of great concern, not only to this government but, of course, to all Canadians. Indeed, we are gratified that it appears as if significant new deliveries are on their way from Pfizer, although I read this morning that the weather conditions in the United States have delayed them by one day.

But with regard to your question, senator, as I have answered on more than one occasion, this government has entered into contracts with many suppliers. They are working regularly with the suppliers to ensure that the deliveries come as promised. Again, the government remains confident that it will meet — if not exceed — its targets of having all Canadians who wish to be vaccinated done so by September.