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View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'd like to speak in support of the motion by Mr. Jeneroux. I endorse all of the reasons that he indicated so clearly. I would just point out that responding to written questions is helpful, but it's not as helpful as having Dr. Aylward appear by video conference to hear and respond to live questions from the committee. I would note, for the record, that Dr. Aylward has done interviews in exactly that format with media outlets, so clearly he has been willing, and the WHO has been willing, to make Dr. Aylward available to answer questions to the media. I don't see any principled reason that they would not make Dr. Aylward available to this committee to answer similar questions. I would also point out that Canada is a member of the WHO, and I think the WHO ought to operate with transparency and accountability to its members.
As Mr. Jeneroux pointed out, I think the Minister of Health and this government, and Canada's chief public health officer, Dr. Tam, have repeatedly invoked the World Health Organization as a source of guidance and background information to inform the decisions made in Canada. This committee is tasked with assessing the validity, usefulness and effectiveness of the government's response. I can't see how hearing from the WHO wouldn't help us in carrying out the task that's been given to us unanimously by Parliament.
I will conclude by saying that I appreciate that Dr. Aylward is in Geneva, so the summons can't be executed at the moment. However, if we do issue this summons, then if and/or when Dr. Aylward does return to Canada, the summons will be in place and in a position to be executed at that time. I would endorse this motion accordingly.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
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