Canada should have been among the first countries to know about COVID-19. Its Global Public Health Intelligence Network, a branch of the Public Health Agency of Canada, was once a world leader in gathering information and issuing alerts about outbreaks. But as The Globe and Mail’s Grant Robertson discovered, the network had been effectively silenced. Bureaucrats without epidemiological expertise had been brought in to run it; its once lightning-fast alert system undermined by a slow-moving approval process and then stopped altogether; and its analysts instructed to turn their attention to domestic rather than global issues. The result: when COVID-19 hit, Canada was under-informed and ill-prepared. Robertson’s revelations had an immediate impact. Canada’s auditor-general ordered an investigation. The federal health minister established a review. Top officials at the Public Health Agency were replaced. And perhaps most importantly: the nation’s early-warning system was restored.