Mel Cappe raised a lot of very good points in his recent piece in the Centre for International Governance Innovation and in a follow-up interview with The Hill Times in last Monday’s issue. The former clerk of the Privy Council Office and Canada’s former top bureaucrat said “during a crisis, success in governance requires strong institutions, robust decision-making processes and the right people in the right jobs.” Specifically, without an “institutionalized” cabinet emergency group constantly in place, the capacity for cabinet ministers to tackle pandemics and other emergencies is “woefully lacking,” he told The Hill Times. Mr. Cappe said although the prime minister’s move to create a cabinet committee on COVID-19 on March 4—a week before the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 virus a global pandemic—was an important and valuable step, such a cabinet committee should be put in place permanently to deal with future pandemics and emergencies. He’s right.
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