Media Advisory—The Auditor General will release 4 new reports on the government’s response to COVID‑19—Thursday, 9 December 2021

Press Release

Ottawa, 30 November 2021—On Thursday 9 December 2021, Karen Hogan, Auditor General of Canada, will deliver 4 additional audits on the government’s response to the COVID‑19 pandemic. Tabling to the House of Commons is expected at approximately 2:00 p.m. (eastern standard timeEST). Titles and descriptions of the reports are provided below.

Embargoed reports

If you are a journalist accredited by a recognized media organization and wish to receive embargoed electronic copies of the reports at 9:30 a.m. (EST) on 9 December 2021, please email Infomedia@oag-bvg.gc.ca to receive instructions to register for the media preview. Registration must be completed by 5:00 p.m. (EST) on 8 December 2021. Please note that print copies of the reports are not available for distribution due to pandemic restrictions.

News conference

Journalists registered for the media preview can also take part in an embargoed news conference with Auditor General Karen Hogan, from 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. (EST), via teleconference or in person (Room 200 – 144 Wellington Street, Ottawa). To attend the news conference in person, you must be accredited by the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery and follow all public health requirements.

Interviews

To book an interview, please call 1‑888‑761‑5953 or email infomedia@oag-bvg.gc.ca.

The 2021 Reports of the Auditor General of Canada included in this release are:

Report 12—Protecting Canada’s Food System. This audit focused on whether selected federal organizations protected Canada’s food system during the COVID‑19 pandemic by effectively designing, delivering, and managing programming to help reduce food insecurity in Canada through the Emergency Food Security Fund, the Surplus Food Rescue Program, and the Nutrition North Canada subsidy program; and to support the resilience of food processors in the agriculture and agri‑food and the fish and seafood sectors through the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund and the Emergency Processing Fund.

Report 13—Health and Safety of Agricultural Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada During the COVID‑19 Pandemic. This audit focused on whether Employment and Social Development Canada managed the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to protect agricultural workers from COVID‑19 in 2020 and 2021. We focused particularly on the amended Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and the department’s inspections, which were meant to verify whether employers followed the COVID‑19 regulatory requirements. These requirements came into force in April 2020 and were in place for the duration of our audit. We also examined whether Agriculture and Agri‑Food Canada verified that the recipients it funded under two of its COVID‑19 support programs met program terms and conditions. These programs were intended to help protect the health and safety of workers on farms and support their ability to quarantine safely.

Report 14—Regional Relief and Recovery Fund. This audit focused on whether selected regional development agencies and the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (under Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada) designed, delivered, and managed the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund program effectively and efficiently to support businesses and organizations through the pandemic, and whether they reported on the program’s results.

Report 15—Enforcement of Quarantine and COVID‑19 Testing Orders – Public Health Agency of Canada. This audit focused on whether the Public Health Agency of Canada improved its administration of mandatory quarantine orders to limit the introduction of the virus that causes COVID‑19 and the virus variants into Canada from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021, the period beginning after the conclusion of our previous audit on this topic. The audit also focused on how the agency implemented and enforced the following additional border control measures introduced in early 2021: COVID‑19 testing for travellers entering Canada, and quarantine of air travellers at government-authorized hotels pending the results of their on‑arrival COVID‑19 tests.

Special Examinations of Crown Corporations. We will also be providing Parliament with copies of our reports on the special examinations of the following Crown corporations: Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Canadian Dairy Commission.

Reports of the Auditor General of Canada are made available on the Office of the Auditor General of Canada website immediately following tabling.

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