Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'm one of the lucky ones who were here when we initially passed this motion. I'm blessed that I'm here to actually talk on this new motion.
As Ms. Vignola mentioned, this is a great opportunity for us to look at the process. But the process is not just the process that happened as result of COVID-19. When we look at the strategic stockpile of PPE inventory, there are many dimensions when you look at inventory management. You look at how much of the stock you need; how you replenish it; how you decide what type of stock you need and what the reorder point is; where the locations are where you're going to stockpile; what the mechanism is for receiving orders from the provinces; how you determine the priority. These stockpiles are strategic stockpiles. They are not there to satisfy all of the demands.
There are many aspects to evaluating this. To the extent that the documents that might be available during this short period, especially during COVID-19, in terms of how much of it was disposed of.... I don't think these documents are actually going to shed a complete light onto how the consolidation of these centres came about, who made that decision, how we decided on what type of stockpile we needed and what combination we needed: Do we need surgical masks, do we need level three masks or do we need gloves? All those decisions needed to be made. I'm not sure whether we have that data.
Also, other committees, for instance the health committee, and the motion that was passed in the House, are generating these documents. When you look at the end-to-end process, I don't think the end-to-end process is only over the three months. It was over many, many years that these decisions were made. We need to wait until those documents are tabled to be able to see to what extent those documents that are being generated—or, as said, are nearly ready to be handed in to the other committees—put us in a position to be able to answer some of these key questions.
The level of the stockpile is only one element. There's the decision-making: How do we monitor it? How do we control it? All of those may or may not be answered in the documents that are being prepared.
My suggestion is to wait for these documents that other committees are asking for to be tabled. Let's review those documents, and then ask the fundamental question that everybody is asking, from all sides of the House. Whether it's the Conservatives, the NDP, the Bloc, the Liberals, the Greens or the independents, we are all asking the same question. The fundamental question is, how do we make sure that this doesn't happen again? Let's see what process was followed and where we can make those improvements.
We also need to make sure that we ask for documents in an appropriate time frame. Right now, we are in the middle of wave two. The questions that are being asked, or the questions that we're trying to get the answer to, are most probably being addressed right now because we are going through wave two. We are saying now, based on wave one, that we have some ideas of what PPE we need. Based on the surges in various provinces, we also need to look at which provinces, which territories. Based on the needs from various regions, as the cases are going up, how do we look at strategizing or how do we look at prioritizing where these supplies are going to go?
Some of the answers that may come in this report may or may not be relevant to what we are doing right now, because we are learning, and we are learning every day. There are provinces and territories that we thought had beaten COVID, and now we are moving into lockdown situations. The prioritization now is going to change. The strategic stockpile is going to change, and the decision-making is going to change.
Let's focus on making sure that we use the lessons learned from the first wave and address the immediate need, which is the second wave, making sure that all the organizations that needed to benefit from the stockpiles get the support they need. Hopefully, when this thing is over, this will be a great motion to study, because we have the previous 10 years; we have wave one; we have wave two, and hopefully we'll beat this on wave two, so we don't have to go to wave three.
We will have a benchmark: How did we do? How did we react? That's going to be a much better time for us to leverage all the lessons learned, and also optimize the generation of all of these documents. The fact that only six members of the Public Health Agency are on 699 leave right now itself tells you how busy they are. Why are they busy? They're focusing on the people. They're focusing on you and me. They're focusing on our community. They're focusing on elders. They're focusing on children at school, and they're doing everything in their power to make sure that those supplies are ready.
I am to a large extent highlighting the areas that all members have talked about, and that I think are important to me and to my constituents: whether it's the process, whether it's the stockpile, whether it's the oversight, whether it's the history, whether it's how we managed during wave one or how we are going to manage during wave two. Therefore, my ask or my recommendation is, let's keep the focus on Canadians. Let's make sure that the stockpiles we have, whether it's the gowns or the masks that we've acquired and the internal capacity we've built, are getting to Canadians.
Partnering with other departments, whether it's working with PHAC, PSPC or ISED, let's make the investment. Let's focus on those as the government's number one priority. As a committee, we have six great motions. I'm looking forward to the next motion that Mr. Green is going to put to debate.
Mr. Chair, thank you very much for the time. I would ask all members to consider prioritizing the focus on Canadians rather than the production of documents.