Federal health agency first in Canada to suspend COVID briefings during election – CBC

Provincial health officers kept updating residents while politicians were on campaign trail

Aug 28, 2021

The decision to suspend regular COVID-19 briefings by federal health authorities is out of step with the decisions taken by other Canadian jurisdictions that have held elections during the pandemic, an overview by CBC News reveals.

While some of five provinces and one territory that went to the polls since March 2020 excluded politicians on the campaign trail from the briefing spotlight, they all continued to hold regular briefings to update residents on the evolution of the virus in their jurisdiction.

The absence of COVID-19 briefings by the Public Health Agency of Canada sparked controversy this week, with the Conservatives calling on Interim Clerk of the Privy Council Janice Charette to investigate what they described as a breach of the caretaker convention, which dictates that public servants should act as caretakers during elections, continue as usual and not do anything that could influence the campaign.

The New Democrats and the Green Party have echoed the call by the Conservative Party for regular PHAC briefings to resume but not its call for the Privy Council to investigate.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/covid-briefings-canada-provinces-1.6156694

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