The fact Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Procurement Minister Anita Anand refuse to disclose the contracts they’ve signed with vaccine manufacturers raises the question of what’s in them that they don’t want us to see.
They’ve rejected appeals from the opposition parties, Canada’s premiers and provincial public health experts to release the contracts on the grounds this would violate confidentiality provisions, which could lead to their cancellation.
But no one’s asking for information that would void the deals, for example about pricing. The concern is what do they say about the delivery schedule for vaccines.
That is, how many doses are part of each delivery, what is the timeline for delivery and what happens, if anything, if the manufacturers fail to meet quarterly targets in the contracts?
The provinces need this information to efficiently distribute vaccines.
So they know, for example, whether to release all the vaccines they receive immediately, confident more will arrive in time to administer the second dose within recommended time frames, or to hold back half the doses for the second inoculation, if it looks as if there will be more delays like the ones we’ve just experienced.
It’s inexplicable why the Trudeau government has refused to disclose this information, at least to provincial public health officials, so they can prepare for what Trudeau and Anand say will be the delivery of six million vaccine doses by the end of March.