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Canadians may have unintentionally supported slave labour in China through the purchasing of masks and pandemic supplies, The Department of Public Works admits.
According to Blacklock's Reporter, the department says it does not know if "billions" of dollars worth of supplies were made through slave labour in the Authoritarian regime.
"I’m really shocked the department doesn’t know if forced labour is being used to produce personal protective equipment for Canadians," said Conservative MP Kelly Block, saying that Canadians deserved to know if Canada was supporting slavery in China.
China produces the majority of Canada's pandemic supplies, with Deputy Public Works Minister Bill Matthews telling Commons that it's up to those in China to "self certify" that they are in accordance with human rights laws.
"When you're dealing with a very deep supply chain in a faraway country, getting line of sight into these types of questions is not an easy thing to do... We have checked with the contractors we deal with," said Matthews. "We are not aware of any link there. We have proactively checked, have not found anything," he said.
It was not just the Conservatives who took issue with the lack of information on the matter. Liberal MP Sameer Zuberi agreed that Canada needed to "ensure [Canadians] are not unwittingly wearing masks that are produces by forced labour."