OTTAWA: The National Citizens Inquiry (NCI) – a citizen-led inquiry into Canada’s response to COVID-19 – has made a nationwide call to Canadians in search of objective, professional and independent-minded commissioners.
These commissioners will be tasked with overseeing the proceedings at eight regional hearings and publishing a summary report of findings and recommendations at the conclusion. As the inquiry’s facilitators and interpreters of the results, they will ensure the proceedings are fair, open, and balanced.
A commissioner’s primary characteristics must be professionalism, uncommon objectivity, clear communication, and unimpeachable integrity. The individuals in question must have the necessary skills to act in a quasi-judicial fashion, although the call extends beyond those with a legal background. Candidates could include those with backgrounds in academics, health care, economics, government, public policy or others.
The public response to COVID-19, by all levels of government, has rightly been called unprecedented. The historic implications of these responses include significant impacts to learning and socialization on children and youth, cascading effects on health care, economic shockwaves, and the suspension of Charter rights for millions of Canadians. The highly charged atmosphere of the last two years, along with often political rhetoric, has created a reluctance towards open investigation into the choices that have been made.
“The right candidate must recognize the historic moment we are in, and the duty we have to protect Canadians in advance of the next crisis and response,” said Preston Manning, spokesperson for the Inquiry. “This really is an act of service to our country.” The NCI was launched earlier this month and has been embraced by Canadians across the country, with over 32,500 signing the petition of support. Hundreds have stepped forward to volunteer, and demand has been so great that additional hearings have already been added. The NCI is also having a profound impact on national politics, its potential impact already being discussed by federal political parties.
Interested individuals, as well as those who would like to suggest a commissioner, are encouraged to review the role and responsibilities available at www.nationalcitizensinquiry.ca/commission.
All Canadians are also invited to visit the NCI’s website and sign the public petition to show support for the inquiry.
You can watch the press release online below