Internal PMO emails reveal that PPE meant for Alberta was abandoned in China, when two Canadian government planes sent to retrieve the supplies came back empty.
Early in the pandemic, Trudeau sent 17 tonnes of Canadian PPE to China. The show-off move left Canadian hospitals short, relegated to reusing masks and medical gowns while the coronavirus spread to Canada, seeping in through open borders.
Trudeau justified the dangerous generosity by claiming the Chinese communist government would return the favour when it could.
But the reciprocation didn’t materialize, and the CBC explained the stranded medical cargo catastrophe as an airport traffic problem:
A cargo jet chartered by the federal government to deliver badly needed personal protective equipment (PPE) from China was forced to leave the airport in Shanghai without the shipment on board.
The precious cargo of pandemic supplies wasn't lost or bought out by another country. Instead, the government says delays caused by a spike in cargo flights meant the delivery trucks couldn't get to the Canadian plane on time, forcing it to return to Canada without its load.
“This occurred due to on-the-ground congestion caused by a significant surge in cargo flights out of terminals at the Shanghai Airport. As a result, the intended cargo was unable to get to the plane before its required takeoff time,” said Emily Harris, director of communications at Public Services and Procurement Canada.
However, a new internal document tabled at the House of Commons Health Committee reveals the stranded PPE supplies were meant for Alberta Health Services to distribute to the Metis Nation and Alberta hospitals.
At least one of the intended recipients of the Alberta-bound supplies — the Métis Nation of Alberta — was aware the planes were not coming back with cargo in advance, knowing for “a while that Canada’s planes were coming back empty or light.”
Rick Theis, the director of policy and cabinet affairs in the Prime Minister’s Office, shared with colleagues a message sent to him by the Metis Nation of Canada.
Rick it would be nice to get some help on this. I don't think I can hold my team back much longer.
Those empty planes last weekend were not supposed to be empty.
We have known for a while that Canada's planes were coming back empty or light. So the team made a deal with Canada that Alberta Health Services PPE was to come back on those planes.
Unfortunately Alberta Health Services PPE was left on the tarmac.
During a pandemic this is completely unacceptable.
After the deal was made, we have a tape recording of a Procurement Canada employee saying there is no way he would ever allow our products on the plane.
To make it worse the PPE order for Métis Nation Governments was supposed to be on that plane that came back empty.
Recently, Trudeau’s bungled procurement process ground Alberta’s successful COVID-19 vaccination program to a halt, when shipments of the vaccine were cut off to Canada.