The panel was comprised of lawyer Shawn Buckley, Richard Girgis, Preston Manning, and Max Daigle from CAERS.
Preston Manning affirms that the intent is to follow up on these meetings. The first step is to share the videos and testimony of this hearing. The second step is to continue these hearings to examine more areas of impact, and to expand the current Hearings website, and perhaps host monthly one-day hearings. Those who wish to participate would register through that website. The third step is to promote the need for an independent, non-government, national investigation. Fourth, we must compile, review, and assess suggestions for next steps.
Buckley identifies a cultural problem: the culture of fear, of silence, of total conformity. One of the things that has facilitated the capture of people on the front lines, and our institutions, is this Canadian cultural problem. Our cultural move to total conformity has undermined our institutions. Girgis says that since Covid there has been a silencing, and perhaps it exacerbated an underlying cultural weakness. Daigle says fear must be removed from the equation.
Girgis notes how with regulatory agencies, and courts (especially in Quebec), there is a complete lack of independence from executive or legislative power; instead, what we see is uniformity in response, and in thought. The media have created this atmosphere of uniformity of thought. Manning argues for the Judicial Council to be flooded with complaints on the lack of independence of the judiciary—even if the Chair of that Council, the Chief Justice, is notably biased. Buckley notes that as much as two thirds of Health Canada’s budget comes from revenue in the form of fees paid by pharmaceutical companies.
David Ross says that these hearings have been a good first start. We need to get dialogue going and to maintain the dialogue. We need to collect stories, and also hold elected officials accountable. (26 minutes)