IN light of a damning report leaked from the BCCDC that shows the NDP government is collecting far more COVID-19 data than it is releasing to the public, the BC Liberals said on Friday that they were raising questions about who knew what, when, and why this data wasn’t shared with British Columbians.
“We have been calling for better COVID-19 data transparency for months, but the NDP largely ignored our requests — now we know that they have had this data all along,” said Renee Merrifield, BC Liberal Health Critic. “To knowingly hold back this critical information from British Columbians — especially after so many have been asking for it to be released — is a failure of government. This data shines a light on the B.C. communities that have been hardest hit by the pandemic and it could have been used to educate the public — even though it was readily available, the NDP government kept it hidden from people and refused to share it.”
The leaked internal reports are each more than 45 pages, nearly four times the length of the weekly reports that are made public by the BCCDC, and they include detailed breakdowns of case counts and vaccinations by neighbourhood.
“Why have the NDP’s Surrey MLAs been silent on this issue? Government has a responsibility to be honest with people, and now we find they have intentionally left our community here in the dark,” questioned Trevor Halford, MLA for Surrey-White Rock.
“Knowing the dire situation here in Surrey, with some neighbourhoods showing the highest positivity rate in the province, the NDP chose to create a system of chaos with vaccine pop-up clinics that were not planned nor able to get vaccines to those who needed them most,” added Stephanie Cadieux, MLA for Surrey South.
The BC Liberals said the leaked documents show that Premier John Horgan and the NDP knew the positivity rate in many parts of Surrey was more than 20 per cent last week. The data also reveals neighbourhoods with lower vaccination rates were the hardest hit.
“The Premier insisted B.C. was the most transparent jurisdiction in Canada but that’s clearly not true. If it was, government would have been making this data available from the very beginning. John Horgan and the NDP have actively withheld valuable information from British Columbians day after day for over a year now,” said Merrifield. “We’re calling on the government to retroactively release the complete versions of these reports from the third wave, and continue to provide the whole story going forward. British Columbians deserve transparency from their government.”