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Unlike a similar Conservative motion defeated last week that would have created a committee to look into the WE controversy, the government has said the health committee motion will not be a confidence vote.
In a letter to a senior Health Canada official obtained by The Canadian Press, Pfizer Canada president Cole Pinnow says his company is concerned about the “likely unintended consequences” of such a review.
Pinnow specifically mentions a requirement in the motion that the government produce documents related to the production and purchase of a vaccine for COVID-19.
He goes on to say that while the company is seeking legal advice, it wants to hear from Health Canada what process will be used to vet sensitive information before it is released to the committee.
“We are deeply concerned with the implications and likely unintended consequences should this motion receive the support of enough parliamentarians,” Pinnow wrote to Health Canada assistant deputy minister Pierre Sabourin.
“As we seek legal counsel, we would like to understand what vetting process Health Canada intends to use and how would third parties, like Pfizer, be consulted prior to the release of any information.”
In a followup email answering questions from The Canadian Press, Pfizer’s director of corporate affairs Christina Antoniou wrote that the company would like to see stronger language in the motion on protecting corporate secrets, especially regarding its vaccine-development efforts.