National Newswatch

Internal e-mails show the Prime Minister’s Office was scrambling last summer to contain the fallout over the silencing of Canada’s pandemic early-warning system after learning it was curtailed less than a year before COVID-19 struck.

The e-mails, which provide a rare look at exchanges between the Prime Minister’s top political aides, show the upper levels of government were caught off guard when details about the silencing of the Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN) were made public by a Globe and Mail investigation.

The internationally respected system was created to detect and monitor international health threats to help Canada and other countries respond faster and more effectively to a deadly outbreak. However, The Globe found that the operation’s alert system was silenced in early 2019 amid shifting government priorities.

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