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A Citizen-Led Inquiry Into Canada’s COVID-19 Response

The National Citizens Inquiry is a citizen-led and citizen-funded effort to examine Canada’s response to COVID-19.

The NCI’s purpose is to listen, to learn, and to recommend. What went right? What went wrong? How can Canadians and our governments react to national crises in the future in a manner that balances the interests, needs and rights of all members of our society?

The NCI is volunteer run and completely independent of government.

Why an Inquiry?

During the pandemic, governments at all levels made decisions that affected the lives of almost every Canadian. The impacts of these decisions were unprecedented. They affected our lives, families, businesses, and communities, in significant and long-lasting ways. They affected our physical and mental health, civil liberties and fundamental freedoms, jobs and livelihoods, and overall social and economic well-being.

Could COVID-19 have been handled differently? Many Canadians believe so, and many believe these circumstances demand a comprehensive, transparent, objective and independent inquiry into how governments responded over the past three years.

For this reason, a group of concerned citizens formed the National Citizens Inquiry—to ask hard questions, hear from those affected, and learn how to do better in future.

What has happened so far?

In spring 2023, the NCI held 24 days of hearings from Truro to Vancouver, where commissioners heard testimony from over 300 witnesses. On November 28, 2023, the NCI released the Commissioners’ final report with their recommendations on what—if anything—could be done differently or better should Canada experience another emergency. The NCI encourages everyone to read the report and act on its recommendations.

Join Us

If you too have questions about how governments responded to COVID-19, we invite you to join us on this journey. Please:

  1. Independent– The Inquiry must be truly independent. Inquiry Commissioners shall be selected on the basis of experience, competence, and credibility and not for any pre-conceived positions they might hold on the issues to be dealt with by the Inquiry.
  2. Citizen Supported– The authority of the Inquiry must rest on a mandate received from significant numbers of Canadian citizens across the country who have made repeated calls for an independent and objective review of governments’ pandemic measures. This mandate is to be further reinforced by such citizens adding their names to the Petition of Support for a National Citizens Inquiry provided on the Inquiry’s website – ca.
  3. Open and Transparent– The Inquiry’s investigation and related activities must be open and transparent, free of biases or preconceived conclusions.
  4. Truthful– All persons participating in the Inquiry may only submit oral or written testimony under oath, dutifully sworn before a Commissioner of Oaths.
  5. Evidence Based– The deliberations and conclusions of the Inquiry must be evidence based, with any and all testimony received (including that containing extreme claims and conspiratorial charges) being subject to cross examination. The submitted evidence for all arguments, claims, and/or positions shall be made publicly available through the Inquiry’s website.
  6. Respectful– The Inquiry shall insist that all participants exhibit mutual respect for the contrary opinions and positions of others,  to facilitate reconciliation, rather than further polarize Canadians.
  1. Independent – The Inquiry must be truly independent. Inquiry Commissioners shall be selected on the basis of experience, competence, and credibility and not for any pre-conceived positions they might hold on the issues to be dealt with by the Inquiry.
  2. Citizen Supported – The authority of the Inquiry must rest on a mandate received from significant numbers of Canadian citizens across the country who have made repeated calls for an independent and objective review of governments’ pandemic measures. This mandate is to be further reinforced by such citizens adding their names to the Petition of Support for a National Citizens Inquiry provided on the Inquiry’s website – nationalcitizensinquiry.ca.
  3. Open and Transparent – The Inquiry’s investigation and related activities must be open and transparent, free of biases or preconceived conclusions.
  4. Truthful – All persons participating in the Inquiry may only submit oral or written testimony under oath, dutifully sworn before a Commissioner of Oaths.
  5. Evidence Based – The deliberations and conclusions of the Inquiry must be evidence based, with any and all testimony received (including that containing extreme claims and conspiratorial charges) being subject to cross examination. The submitted evidence for all arguments, claims, and/or positions shall be made publicly available through the Inquiry’s website.
  6. Respectful – The Inquiry shall insist that all participants exhibit mutual respect for the contrary opinions and positions of others – so as to facilitate reconciliation, rather than further polarize Canadians.
  1. To inquire into and undertake dialogue with Canadians. To listen to Canadians concerning the impacts of government health and policy measures impacting their personal lives, including their physical and mental health, families and communities (particularly children and seniors), jobs and livelihoods, businesses, and their fundamental freedoms and civil liberties as guaranteed by the Constitution.
  2. To invite Canadians to pose to the Inquiry any unanswered or unclear questions concerning COVID-19 and governments’ responses thereto, and for the Inquiry to make all reasonable efforts to secure answers to those questions.
  3. To receive and evaluate testimony from medical, legal, scientific, and other relevant experts concerning the governments’ pandemic measures and strategy, what information was known or knowable by governments, and what alternative approaches could have been taken.
  4. To receive and evaluate testimony from legacy and independent media to understand what information was known or knowable and why information was conveyed to the public as it was.
  5. To invite input from healthcare officers and other governmental officials as to the rationale behind the health care protection measures adopted – including mandates, lockdowns, and similar orders and actions – and the strategies employed to secure public compliance.
  6. To invite and secure testimony as to the appropriateness, efficacy, legality and constitutionality of governments’ responses to COVID-19.
  7. To investigate public sector expenditures, grants, and any other subsidies or financial support programs and their distribution related to the governmental responses to COVID-19.
  8. To consider the issue of civic and criminal liability for any damages or harms caused by governments’ response to COVID-19.
  9. To make publicly available to Canadians all findings, submissions, and testimonies certified by and formally presented through the Inquiry.
  10. To identify any mistakes, negative impacts, or mismanagement that the Inquiry may determine have occurred and, if it does so, to recommend appropriate measures for more appropriate and effective government responses in the future.

As with all inquiries, the NCI has selected commissioners to hear testimony from many witnesses. The commissioners were selected based on their credibility, objectivity, competence, and trustworthiness to Canadians on whose behalf the Inquiry is being conducted.

Learn more about NCI’s four commissioners.

For Media Inquiries, contact us HERE.

Petition Signatures:

Signatures de pétition

Witnesses:

Être témoin

Experts Testified:

Témoignages d’experts

Hearing Days:

Journèes Audiences

76,425

305

94

24

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