Trudeau promises stockpile policies to get overhaul to prevent waste

 

OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa will avoid destroying valuable medical equipment from the national stockpile from now on by making sure it gets used before it expires.

Trudeau told the House of Commons today he was troubled to learn two million N95 respirator masks and thousands of pairs of medical gloves were thrown out in 2019 because they had expired five years earlier. 

Trudeau says the federal government will change protocols so that in the future, stockpile supplies get distributed to the front lines before they expire and are replaced with new items.

Securing enough medical equipment to keep front-line workers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic has been among the government's biggest challenges to date.

Canada has ordered millions of masks and gloves from Chinese manufacturers, but Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says there are reports three Canadian planes that went to China to pick up supplies last week returned empty Sunday.

Trudeau says global competition for items is "fierce" and that Canada has struggled to make sure the items it orders do get delivered to the hospitals and other workplaces that need them.

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