Preston Manning: Toward a National Inquiry Into Canada’s Management of the COVID Crisis

Preston Manning: Toward a National Inquiry Into Canada’s Management of the COVID Crisis
Panelists at the “Citizens' Hearing”—an independent inquiry into Canada's pandemic response—listen to stories of Canadians adversely affected by COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions, in Toronto on June 23, 2022. (L–R) Former Reform Party leader Preston Manning, retired Ontario pediatrician Dr. Susan Natsheh, and David Ross, president of the Canadian Covid Care Alliance. (Andrew Chen/The Epoch Times)
Preston Manning

Increasing numbers of Canadians are demanding a national, independent investigation into government mismanagement of the COVID outbreak. Because governments themselves would be the subject of such an investigation, its conduct would need to be assigned to a non-governmental commission whose commissioners possess the experience, expertise, and personal integrity necessary to render their findings credible with the general public.

To illustrate what such an investigation might be like, the Canadian Covid Care Alliance (CCCA) recently coordinated a three day in-person and online “Citizens’ Hearing” into Canada’s response to the COVID outbreak. Some 60 people testified to a three-person panel as to the effects on their personal lives of the health protection measures adopted or to offer alternative medical and scientific perspectives on which the response to the COVID outbreak might have been based.
I was one of the panelists who received this testimony. Information  about the hearing is available for public scrutiny at
Most of the testimony consisted of personal stories as to the impact of federal and provincial health protection measures on the personal well-being, rights, freedoms, jobs, and incomes of those affected. These impacts included:
  • Negative effects on personal physical and mental health due to adverse reactions to social distancing, lockdowns, and vaccines.
  • Violations of virtually every right and freedom supposedly guaranteed by the Constitution.
  • Negative economic impacts ranging from loss of employment and personal income, to business closures and bankruptcies, to supply chain disruptions.
What was most inexplicable was the absence of evidence that the governments conducted and published any in-depth assessments of the negative impacts of the health protection measures adopted on personal health, rights, freedoms, jobs, incomes, and supply chains.

What was most disturbing and worrisome was testimony as to the widespread negative impacts on children of the health protection measures adopted—impacts with serious long-term developmental implications for the one group of Canadians least susceptible to the coronavirus.

What was most heart-wrenching were the stories of those who faithfully obeyed governmental instructions to be vaccinated only to suffer unpredicted “adverse effects” followed by misunderstandings and denunciations when those afflicted shared their experience with  others.

What was most disheartening was that the vast majority of those testifying at the Citizens’ Hearing reported receiving “no reply” when their concerns and questions were posed to health system officials and political decision-makers.

On the other hand, what was most inspiring was the courage displayed by so many in the face of  physical and economic adversity, bureaucratic insensitivity, political arrogance, and mainstream media hostility, coupled with a growing determination to ensure that lessons learned from the mismanagement of the COVID crisis are rigorously applied to the management of any future crises.

What was also encouraging was the testimony of experts offering different perspectives, interpretations, and conclusions than those which have informed or misinformed health officials and governments over the past two years:
  • The expert in respiratory technologies and protections who explained the ineffectiveness of masks in halting the spread of the coronavirus.
  • The critique of COVID management policies by a doctor with academic and experiential credentials superior to those of most of the public health officers currently advising the provincial and federal governments.
  • The testimony of a former chief medical officer of health for Ontario as to the inadvisability of any public health policy which employs fear to motivate compliance and which denies the necessity of “informed consent” for any medical procedure.
Hopefully, more of these Citizens’ Hearings will be held in future in which ever-increasing numbers of Canadians will participate—all contributing to public demand for a national, independent investigation into government mismanagement of the COVID outbreak and measures to ensure that future crises are managed more responsibly, effectively, and democratically.
Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Preston Manning served as a member of the Canadian Parliament from 1993 to 2001, and as leader of the Opposition from 1997 to 2000. He founded two political parties: the Reform Party of Canada and the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance. Both of these became the Official Opposition in Parliament and led to the creation of the Conservative Party of Canada, which formed the federal government from 2004-2015.
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