Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A follow up on some of that Conservative distraction

Yesterday it was noted that the Conservatives were peddling spin to the effect that Canada has only one supplier of H1N1 vaccine now due to a sole-supply contract signed by a former Liberal government in 2001 with GlaxoSmithKline. It was suggested here that the Conservative government's own actions have made it clear that the contract was not prohibitive of them getting vaccine supply from elsewhere, they did so in recent weeks by buying from Australia. That point was confirmed yesterday in this Star report which saw the Conservatives admitting essentially that they'll be rethinking the sole-supply situation going forward. More importantly, the government's freedom within that Glaxo contract was explicitly clarified:
Butler-Jones said the terms of the contract with GlaxoSmithKline, which Public Works said could only be obtained through a request under the Access to Information and Privacy Act, does not prohibit Canada from purchasing vaccine from another supplier – as it did when it bought 200,000 doses of adjuvant-free vaccine from Australia for pregnant women last week – but he said there are no plans to do that for the regular version because there is no global excess of vaccine and he expects shipments to ramp up next week.
So there you go. Facts tend to destroy Conservative talking points. Yet notably, in spite of that information, undoubtedly known within the government, they tried to get out from under responsibility here by unjustifiably blaming a former Liberal government. Tell us again who's playing politics with the H1N1 crisis?