Now that the panic has subsided, it is time to move to a thoughtful and objective Covid evaluation to investigate the social harms created by government infection control policies.

Nearly four years after the Canadian government first imposed unprecedented Covid-19 policies, the nation still lacks a coherent plan for how to evaluate the effectiveness of these policies and their costs and consequences.

Sadly, recent efforts to promote a federal inquiry do very little to diminish concerns that key scientific and policy questions – about lockdowns, school closures, masks, contact tracing and vaccine mandates – will go unanswered. Rather than seriously questioning the dominant covid policy approach, these efforts toward an inquiry parrot a set of misguided axioms set on justifying and institutionalizing them for the future.

A series of articles in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) called for an independent Canadian Inquiry in mid-2023 (Clark et al. 2023). Supportive editorials were written by most Canadian media outlets and a launch event for the series was supported by the Royal Society of Canada. Yet, despite the BMJ series being entitled “Accountability for Canada’s Covid-19 response”, scientific data that contradict the necessity of government infection control policies as well as the social harms to Canadian society from these far-reaching policies were largely ignored.

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