Ottawa, November 14, 2022 – On November 2, Preston Manning launched the National Citizens’ Inquiryfrom Parliament. The NCI is a citizen-led, citizen-funded initiative to independently examine the federal and provincial governments’ COVID-19 policies.
Today, less than two weeks later, the NDP is following the NCI’s lead and also calling for a public inquiry in the federal government’s COVID-19 measures. Although the NDP voted lock-step with the federal Liberal Government to support its COVID-19 policies, they have suddenly drastically changed their tone since the NCI was launched.
“This is what citizen-led leadership and holding governments accountable looks like,” said Manning, the Chair of the non-profit organization “Citizens Inquiry Canada”, who is organizing the NCI. Since November 2, over 26,000 Canadians have already signed the NCI’s petition to express support for the citizen-led public inquiry.
“Although we certainly appreciate the NDP’s implicit support for the NCI, it is a little too late to suddenly start showing concern now,” Manning noted. “3-in-4 Canadians are reporting being harmed by governments’ COVID-19 policies. They were not going to wait for public opinion polls to shift so lawmakers could finally start asking questions.”
During the NCI’s launch, Manning further noted that it is inappropriate for governments to conduct inquiries into their own conduct. Such a process would invite significant mistrust and concerns of bias. A truly independent approach would completely separate government from the planning process, particularly the selection of commissioners. This is exactly the model being implemented by the NCI.
It is anticipated that the inquiry will be launched in early 2023. Manning expects public hearings of two to three days each will be held in cities across the country, providing the opportunity for both virtual and in-person participation.
Ordinary citizens and experts in various disciplines, medical, legal, social, and constitutional will be invited to testify as to the impacts of the measures implemented by governments in the last two and a half years.
“The inquiry will examine the consequences on public and personal health, rights and freedoms, on specific demographic groups such as the aged and our children, and the economy. Those testifying before the Inquiry will also be asked for recommendations for how Canada’s response in matters as this could be better managed in the future.”
A final Summary Hearing will be held in Ottawa, expected by the end of March 2023, with the Inquiry Commissioners issuing a report shortly thereafter containing their observations and recommendations.