Independent review of B.C.’s pandemic response excludes decisions made by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Independent review of B.C.'s pandemic response excludes decisions made by Dr. Bonnie Henry

An independent review of the province’s pandemic response will not examine decisions made by the province’s top doctor.

On Wednesday, the B.C. government announced that it has launched an independent review and public consultation of its operational response to the pandemic in an effort to determine how well government agencies worked together.

The review will not examine any of the decisions made by Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, despite COVID-19 being a global pandemic and public health emergency that remains ongoing. Public policy decisions made by the B.C. government are excluded from the review. Also absent are any decisions relating to the economic recovery, such as support for small businesses and families.

Instead, the review will focus strictly on the government’s operational response around communication, preparedness, and engagement. Former B.C. public service senior officials Bob de Faye, Dan Perrin, and Chris Trumpy have been appointed by the province to lead the independent review.

“The project team will engage extensively with government agencies, First Nations, Indigenous organizations, stakeholders, partners and independent regulators that have been involved in responding to the pandemic on behalf of British Columbians,” the release reads.

As a consolation, the public has until April 20 to provide written feedback about how they, or their business or organization, have been affected by the government’s operational measures and communication throughout the pandemic.

“By learning from the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic, the B.C. government will be in a better position to build B.C. back stronger than ever and be ready for future emergencies,” the release says.

It’s unclear exactly how much the independent review will cost taxpayers because the province did not provide any financial details.

The government set up a website to submit feedback, which you can find here.

Nicholas PescodNicholas Pescod

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