Two federal departments spent weeks following up on a Chinese seizure of 89 million masks in an attempt to determine if any were originally destined for Canada.
Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) determined that it was “likely that Canadian suppliers were implicated in the seizure” of the “poor quality” products.
Email records show that federal staffers spent at least two weeks looking for closure on the investigation.
CBC Reports on 89 Million Pieces of Poor-Quality Product
On May 6, 2020 staffer Sabrina Kim quoted the text of a CBC article referring to “poor-quality product”, rephrasing to indicate that the products were masks in an email:
What ended up happening to the 89 million masks that were seized. Were any of them Canada’s?
Last month, China’s own government revealed it had seized 89 million pieces of poor-quality product. Canada has also received at least one million masks from China that don’t meet its standards since the pandemic began.
Thirty minutes later, staffer Emily Harris replied, cc’ing Tristan Laycock:
Not as far as we are aware no, but we have had a couple of suppliers for masks back out of their contracts because they aren’t able to supply. It’s a possibility that they backed out knowing they wouldn’t meet medical standard, but it also could be other reasons.
So, not as far as we are aware but not completely out of the realm of possibilities that some could have been from suppliers who have since cancelled their contracts.
Feds Spent Two Weeks Investigating Masks
Kim wrote back:
Alright thanks. About 2 weeks ago PSPC and GAC officials said that they were trying to determine whether any of the 89 million poor quality masks that were seized by China were destined for Canada. They said that it is likely that Canadian suppliers were implicated in the seizure.
If you don’t mind checking in with your officials on whether that assessment has been completed then that would be very helpful.
You can read the full text of the emails below.
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