STATEMENT: WHO needs to answer Canadians through Health Committee testimony

April 14, 2020


EDMONTON, AB – Today, Matt Jeneroux, the Shadow Minister for Health and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Riverbend, issues the following statement about World Health Organization (WHO) representative Dr. Bruce Aylward’s decision not to appear before the House of Commons Health Committee:

“The Health Committee was supposed to hear testimony from Dr. Bruce Aylward, a Canadian advisor to the WHO, about its role in Canada’s COVID-19 response. However, Dr. Aylward decided not to appear before the committee at the last minute and did not offer to be rescheduled for a later meeting. This is unacceptable.

“There is no doubt that the WHO has been slow to recommend concrete measures, negatively impacting Canada’s response to the virus. The WHO has back tracked on every position they have taken, meaning the Canadian government has back tracked as well. Canada stated its legal obligation to the WHO and fears of being called out as justification for not proactively implementing enhanced border measures, mandatory quarantine, more rigorous testing and encouraging mask wearing in public.

“There are many important questions Canadians have for the WHO about its advice in the past three months and what it has planned for the future. It has avoided questions about Taiwan’s success in containing the virus and its inclusion in the WHO, instead opting to continue to praise China even as evidence surrounding China’s transparency grows. While it avoids questions, cases are growing and Canadians are more uneasy than ever. Dr. Bruce Aylward, as a Canadian advisor to this organization, must appear before the House of Commons Health Committee to give his fellow citizens answers to these questions. Canadians have serious questions about the WHO’s data and who’s really making the decisions.”