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Canada Was Not Prepared »

Canada Was Not Prepared »

by Bill Sundhu

Canada Was Not Prepared »

Bill Sundhu  January 26, 2021 at 3:17 pm

When COVID-19 began taking a deadly toll in China, Ottawa naively expressed “sympathy” and “full confidence” in China’s ability to contain the virus.  China was lying.  Canada was ill-equipped.

The Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN) early warning system once considered a world leader had been scaled back by Harper Conservative budget cuts and Trudeau Liberals hastened its demise in 2019. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) had also been stripped of crucial capacity to provide early warning of the pandemic due to federal government cost cutting and negligence. 

Doctors, epidemiologists, scientists were shunted aside by “managerial” bureaucrats and budget cuts which followed tax cuts. It is vital to move quickly and decisively in a pandemic.  South Korea, Australia, New Zealand did just that and faired much better than Canada.  PPE was in short supply.  Conservative privatization had sold off Connaught Labs a global-leader of vaccine production and Long-Term Care facilities were under severely resourced.

The costs to the health, lives and economy of Canadians could have been much less severe if we had the capacity to institute significant measures earlier.  Our country is now topping 700,000 cases and 19,000 dead. Conservative and Liberals have been privatizing and turning over vital public assets to their wealthy corporate backers for too long.  The first priority of any government must be to invest and maintain vital public services ensuring the health and protection of its people. We must never let this happen again. People are the economy.    

About Bill Sundhu

Canadian lawyer, Former Judge, Member of Kellogg College of University of Oxford (Masters Degree in International Human Rights Law 2010).

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Bill Sundhu

Bill Sundhu is a Canadian lawyer and former judge with more than 35 years of experience in the courts of justice.

His current practice includes trial and appellate advocacy in criminal justice, human rights and civil liberties. Bill has broad legal experience that includes criminal justice, family law, child and youth law, indigenous rights, police misconduct and wrongful deaths, non-discrimination, access to justice, law reform and legislation, professional legal responsibility, and judicial independence and administration.

He is a regular speaker, lecturer and media commentator on human rights, justice, diversity, equality and international legal issues.   He has extensive knowledge of the Canadian justice system and international human rights law, with particular interest in international criminal law.

Bill has three university degrees, including a Masters degree in International Human Rights Law from Oxford University. He practices in Canadian and International Law.

His work is recognized by appointment to the List of Counsel for the International Criminal Court in the Hague (war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity) and selection to a panel of international experts to train judges in Tunisia, in 2013-14 in human rights and administration of justice. He has served an extensive term as an Executive Member of the Canadian Bar Association National Criminal Law Subsection.

Bill is a founding member of the BC Association of Multicultural Societies and is an advocate for equality and diversity. He and his family have made Kamloops, British Columbia, their home for the past 24 years.

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