The plan, which has been kept secret, was confirmed Thursday evening in the parliamentary public affairs committee in Ottawa. The majority of the opposition delegates voted for the declaration of votes through the noses and beards of the heads of the companies Pfizer, Moderna and Sanofi, who had come to testify to convince them to give up this declaration.
No unedited version has been tabled in parliaments around the world, said Moderna Canada CEO Patricia Gauthier. We haven’t done that anywhere on the planet,” said Pfizer Canada president Najah Sampson.
The president of Pfizer Canada, Najah Sampson, testified before the parliamentary committee on Thursday evening.
Within two weeks, the 11 MPs who are members of the Public Accounts Committee will be able to read all the details of the contracts in the chamber, presided over by the clerk, without the possibility of marking or noting.
Parliamentarians thus have access to the price of the dose to be paid by Ottawa to any company, but also to all possible clauses which the federal government has given.
In total, Canada bought 169 million doses at a cost of about five billion dollars (New Window). As of December 2020, more than 97 million grants have been administered to the country’s population, unprecedented in Canadian history.
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We will see if we will pay the exorbitant prices, the MP behind the motion, Bloc Québécois Nathalie Sinclair-Desgagné, said in an interview with Radio-Canada.
She wants to analyze disability clauses, minimum purchase quantities, late delivery and any non-resale or donation clauses.
“We just want to make sure that there is no abuse and error on either side. And if there were mistakes, we can learn about our mistakes, so that in the future, if there is another pandemic, we do not do it again. »
— Quote from Nathalie Sinclair-Desgagné, Bloc Québécois MP for Terrebonne.
Nathalie Sinclair-Desgagné, Bloc Québécois critic for Public Affairs.
“A serious example” that will have consequences, warns the artists
The leaders of the pharmaceutical companies in turn explained to the parliamentarians that their vote risks harming their industry, which invests billions of dollars every year.
According to Pfizer Canada’s president, this policy will set a precedent with reputational consequences in Canada and sends a worrying message to all industries about how this country is meeting its trade obligations.
“These contracts include the exchange of sensitive information that may be of interest to our competitors and prejudicial in conversations with other partners.”
– Najah Sampson, President of Pfizer Canada.
The CEO of Moderna Canada, Patricia Gauthier, testified before a parliamentary committee on Thursday evening.
Moderna’s CEO pointed out the “high risk”: the trust of information security in our contracts and our supply chain is directly linked to the organization of our global service.
The general director of Sanofi Canada, Jean-Pierre Baylet spoke of “a serious example”.
“The reporting of information from this contract could put us in a difficult situation. The pandemic continues, there are other agendas in other countries.”
– By Jean-Pierre Baylet, General Manager of Sanofi Canada
Sanofi General Manager of Canada, Jean-Pierre Baylet.
MEPs try to strengthen their alliances
You are not the enemy, immediately warned Bloc MP Nathalie Sinclair-Desgagné. Good job during the pandemic. You have done something excellent.
According to her, the companies are “overestimating” the potential consequences of these discoveries. It would not set a dangerous example.
Tory MP Kelly McCauley warned leaders that there had been a leak of such contracts in several national media and that there had been no serious consequences.
Pressure is exerted on parliamentarians
Several members of state budget committees complained that they had received letters from different chambers of commerce and pharmaceutical companies across the country trying to persuade them to vote against the motion.
“All the letters were threatening us in veiled terms,” said Kelly McCauley. They suggested that your money should leave the country.
The Auditor General of Canada has already analyzed the contracts and conducted an investigation, but the members recalled that they could not answer their questions about the content of these contracts, due to the confidentiality of the commercial information to which it was submitted.
The auditor’s report concluded that at least 50 million more doses were purchased, a value of about $1.5 billion.
The Conservative MP reminded the leader of Medicago, who was participating in a videoconference in the committee, that his company received 173 million in public assistance in Canada, without delivering a single dose.
But what can parliamentarians do with government information they find in contracts if they are subject to strict confidentiality? If there is any scandal in these contracts, it will eventually be known, replied Nathalie Sinclair-Desgagné to Radio-Canada.