Country star Brandt stirs up COVID controversy

Cabinet advisers have been outspoken in emails expressing their exasperation with Chinese suppliers who were unable to fill orders for medical supplies, according to The Blacklock Reporter.

“Our experience is that shit can go awry in China,” wrote Matt Stickney, the prime minister’s executive director of operations, in an April 1, 2020 email.

Since the start of the pandemic, federal agencies have relied on Chinese contractors for medical products after the Public Health Agency failed to maintain a nationwide stock of masks, gloves and gowns.

In an internal email exchange, political advisers complained about two jets returning empty from Shanghai after local handlers failed to load the planes.

“The cost of flying a cargo plane from China to Canada is between $ 600,000 and $ 800,000,” the staff wrote.

Cameron Ahmed, communications director, recommended a diplomatic note. “It could be something of the kind to thank the Chinese authorities on the ground for their collaboration in such a complex environment in terms of logistics and organization,” Ahmed wrote.

“Do we need to ‘thank’ them? Director Stickney replied.

“I wonder if we can just be more honest in the answer,” wrote another aide. “Planes cannot hang around the airport in China for hours and days, and because there was a 40-hour wait time at the airport, our supplies could not be unloaded on time. “

On April 21, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that the two cargo planes returned empty after failing to take delivery of COVID-19 supplies.

“One was a charter from the Government of Canada, the other was chartered by a specific province (Alberta) for one of their orders,” Trudeau told reporters.

“There are severe restrictions in China on how long a plane can stay at its airports before it needs to leave, whether full or not, and at the same time, supply lines and truck shipments to airports are tough, ”Trudeau said.

The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa denied the account but did not give details.

“Civil aviation authorities place no limit on the ground time of chartered cargo planes,” the embassy wrote in a statement.

The then-public works ministry complained that China had imposed export controls on medical supplies and that Canadian inspectors were required to check shoddy products.

“The limited availability of many of these products results in excessive bidding, and established orders are often redirected to those who are willing to pay the most,” Deputy Minister Bill Matthews told the April 15, 2020 committee. health of the Commons.

“We are seeing a change in export controls in China,” Matthews said. “The requirements for medical supplies, the rules around them, are also changing. “

On April 1, 2020, China’s General Administration of Customs imposed regulations stating that all exports of COVID-19 masks, ventilators, and other supplies, even prepaid cargo, required new permits with “documentation. additional”.

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