Learn about the NCI's Purpose & Structure
The NCI has been created to support the following objectives:
1. TO LISTEN to the stories of Canadians impacted by the health protection measures adopted, and to the testimonies of experts, including those whose narratives differ from the governmental narrative.
- 3-out-of-4 Canadians report having been harmed by Canada’s COVID-19 policies.
- In particular, Canadians expressed harms concerning isolation, increased divorce or family tension, disruptions to the lives of children and students, job and income losses, business failures, increased mental and physical health stress, reduced healthcare quality, and limitations on rights and freedoms.
2. TO LEARN what went right and what went wrong during the past three years, and what are the lessons to be learned from Canada’s COVID-19 experience?
3. TO RECOMMEND ways and means of ensuring that any future national crises are better managed, harms mitigated, and trust in public institutions upheld.
The NCI’s Terms of Reference have been initially developed by the administrative Support Group and shall be subject to the review of the Commissioners (once appointed).
The Support Group closely modelled the Terms of Reference after the federal Inquiries Act and its similar provincial versions.
You may read the Terms of Reference here.
The NCI consists of two main components, the Commissioners and the Support Group.
- The Support Group is a purely administrative committee that facilitates the NCI’s logistics, such as booking venues, maintaining this website, or raising funds to support this initiative.The Support Group drafted the initial Terms of Reference for the Inquiry, which shall be reviewed by the Commissioners, once appointed. The Support Group has no role in the substantive aspect of the Inquiry (e.g., asking questions of witnesses, considering evidence, or advising the Commissioners).
- The Support Group is represented across Canada through Regional Subcommittees. These committees carry out the local planning and organization needed to host the NCI hearings, accommodate witnesses, and provide logistical support to the Commissioners.
- Support Group and Regional Subcommittee members are all unpaid volunteers who have stepped forward from across Canada and all walks of life.
- The Commissioners are solely responsible for hearing testimony, asking questions, and issuing their report and recommendations, if any. You can learn more about the Commissioners below.
The NCI is currently seeking suggestions from Canadians as to who they would trust in the role of Commissioner. The NCI’s Commission would consist of up to five (5) Commissioners. These Commissioners will determine how they select their Chair to lead the Commission.
You may find more information about the application and selection process here.
- Commissioners are solely responsible for hearing testimony and issuing their report and recommendations, if any.
- The Commissioners are identified by Canadians, reviewed and appointed by the Support Group on the basis of their credibility, demonstrated objectivity, and competence in one or more relevant areas (e.g., law, medicine, ethics, public policy, journalism, etc.). It is essential that potential Commissioners be individuals that have not publicly expressed strong views, in any way, regarding governments’ COVID-19 policy.
- Commissioners are supported by a Secretariat staff comprising lawyers and other professionals.
- Upon the conclusion of the hearings, the Commissioners shall issue a public report, including recommendations, if any.