Here are five things from the federal auditor general’s report on the federal response to COVID-19:
1. COVID-19 was an aviation crisis on a scale that doesn’t exist
The Canadian Press
“I am concerned that the current government response to the COVID-19 flight crash has been insufficient to address the scale and importance of the event and to provide a comprehensive recovery plan,” the report said. “I fear this will lead to further safety problems.”
2. It’s not just the government response that’s lacking
WATCH: Canada’s auditor general takes us inside a botched emergency response to a COVID-19 military plane crash.
The report said it’s a problem for other emergency responders, too. It said the military, the air force and the RCMP and provincial and municipal responders “did not have the capacity, expertise, and capability to respond to or sustain the recovery.”
The report’s recommendations include improving communication with civilian authorities, improving communication equipment and improving air traffic control, among other things.
3. The CBC almost failed the investigation
Watch: Federal auditor general slams CBC for failing COVID-19 investigation
The Canada Forces worked with the CBC on the investigation into the COVID-19 plane crash in Nova Scotia, but the broadcaster gave the federal government “uncritical” support in the coverage it provided, the report said.
It recommended the CBC do a better job providing analysis to its air-traffic control network and make itself part of the investigation into the flight.
4. The government knows they need to do better, too
Watch: Senator: Trudeau government ‘would’ve done better’ in response to COVID-19 crash
The report said two-thirds of the 353 people on board the aircraft were pensioners and four-fifths were from Nova Scotia.
“Despite this, in total, we observed that, at the very least, the government and RCMP did not take the COVID-19 flight crash seriously enough,” the report said.
5. Anything could have happened
WATCH: ADMINISTRATION: What needs to change in response to COVID-19 crash?
“Nearly every part of the recovery operation was affected by a myriad of failures that characterized the disaster,” the report said. “It was dangerous. A dangerous incident could have occurred anywhere at any time.”