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B.C. launches review of COVID-19 pandemic response

The review will look at the government’s response from Jan. 2020 into 2022
FILE Premier John Horgan and Health Minister Adrian Dix look on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the COVID-19 vaccine card set to arrive in mid-September as they discuss details about the process during a press conference at provincial legislature in Victoria, Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

The province is launching an independent review of B.C.’s pandemic response, which it says will help inform preparations and responses to future public health emergencies.

Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth has appointed an independent project team to review the province’s pandemic response from January 2020 into 2022.

However, the scope of the review excludes an assessment of economic recovery and public policy decisions made by the government to deal with the consequences of the pandemic and decisions made by the provincial health Officer

“This review will, however, look at how these decisions were made,” the province said in a news release.

READ MORE: B.C. doubles COVID relief grants, up to $20K for businesses still shuttered by restrictions

The project team will engage with government agencies, First Nations, Indigenous organizations, local governments, public sector unions, health authorities, education providers, industry associations and other stakeholders that have been involved in responding to the pandemic.

The team includes Bob de Faye who is a long-time B.C. public servant and former deputy minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconcillation — de Faye currently serves as a board director for the Institute for Health System Transformation and Sustainability.

Also on the team is Dan Perrin of Perrin, Thorau & Associates — a public policy consultancy based in Victoria that provides policy analysis services to public sector organizations. Prior to founding Perrin, Thorau & Associates, Perrin held a series of senior positions in the B.C. public Service in the Ministry of Finance, the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Social Services

The final member is Chris Trumpy, a former deputy minister of Finance and Environment with 30 years in the B.C. Public Service. Trumpy served as the deputy minster of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Environment, the former Ministry of Provincial Revenue and the former Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management. Since then, Trumpy has been involved in a number of projects including industrial electricity policy, public school funding formula reviews, BC Transit governance and ICBC investment management.

British Columbians will have until April 20 to provide written feedback about how they have been affected by the government’s decisions and communications throughout the pandemic.

The province said the goal of the review is to learn about what aspects of preparedness, engagement, communications and implementation of policies worked well and what improvements can be made in the future.

A report on the findings is expected by Sept. 30, 2022.

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