Health Canada accepted a donation of expired PPE from the CBC's stockpile of more than 60,000 N95 masks, months after throwing out their own supply of 2009-era expired PPE.
The Public Health Agency under Health Canada admitted to ignoring an auditor's report in 2011 that had advised stocking up on personal protective equipment, after the 2009 H1N1 pandemic that killed 428 Canadians.
In 2019, the Liberals threw out two million N95 masks and more than 400,000 gloves originally purchased in 2009. The equipment had expired in 2014 and sat in warehouses for years.
The Public Health Agency hired an Ottawa-based contractor, CPCS Transcom Limited, in 2012 to determine whether there was a better way to run federal medical supply warehouses. Following the report, three of nine warehouses were closed to “save $900,000 annually.”
On April 2, 2020, Shaun Poulter from CBC emailed Christiane Fox at the Privy Council Office, offering tens of thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment which had been “purchased to protect the health of our journalists in situations in the field”:
We've completed an inventory of what personal protection equipment we currently have in our facilities. These have been purchased to protect the health of our journalists in situations in the field.
N95 Masks - 61,425
Gloves - 336 Boxes of 100 each
Goggles - 95
Many of the masks were purchased during the 2009 H1N1 Crisis so will have expired but I understand they could still be useful. (They have been pristinely stored).
The majority of the masks (close to 60,000) are in Montreal but we are pulling together a more detailed list of locations for you.
Let us know how you would like to proceed and if you need other specific information.
Fox forwarded the email to other Trudeau staffers, asking if they could “use” some of the stockpile, and Health Canada deputy minister Stephen Lucas replied:
Yes is my view. We accept all donations.
You can read the full email exchange below.
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