Internal Emails Show Minister’s Staff Helped Water Down MP’s Question On PPE

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How many government staffers do you need to polish a veteran Liberal’s “friendly” question for a government minister? The answer, according to internal emails released by the House of Commons’ health committee, is at least 10. The emails were part of a new batch of documents released to the committee in its study of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The House approved a special production order in October that requested the ongoing release of relevant documents. As a result, select emails between political staff that would usually fall outside the scope of the Access to Information Act are not exempt from disclosure. On May 5, Muna Tojiboeva, a writer in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), emailed staff in two ministers’ offices with a draft of a “friendly” question Liberal MP Francis Scarpaleggia wanted to ask during the special committee on the COVID‑19 pandemic the next day.