By Western Standard
December 14, 2021
Liberal and Bloc MPs on the Commons ethics committee have reject the idea of an investigation to COVID-19 contracts handed out to lobbyists, says Blacklock’s Reporter.
The parties teamed up to defeat the Tory idea by a 6-4 vote.
“It would just be stirring the pot,” said Liberal MP Greg Fergus (Hull-Aylmer, Que.), parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Conservative MP John Brassard (Barrie-Innisfil, Ont.) proposed a motion to “undertake a study into issues of conflict of interest and the Lobbying Act in relation to pandemic spending.”
Parliament has approved $508.9 billion in deficit expenditures since the pandemic’s outbreak, according to the Department of Finance.
“We know there’s been $500 billion in pandemic spending that has occurred,” said Brassard.
“I think it’s important for Canadians and indeed important for this committee to have the confidence pandemic spending has been done in an open, transparent and accountable manner.”
Internal documents to date disclosed COVID-19 contracts included a $237.3 million sole-sourced award to Baylis Medical Company of Montréal for ventilators never used by the Department of Health.
In other contracts:
- Kevin Bosch, former deputy director of the Liberal Research Bureau, boasted of “getting things done” for 3M Company that received a $23.3 million grant and $118.6 million contract for masks;
- Elly Alboim, a former Liberal Party organizer, emailed a cabinet aide seeking a contract for his son. “I vouch for Elly,” wrote the chief of staff to the Minister of Public Works;
- Spartan Bioscience Inc., a now-bankrupt test kit supplier, received a $149 million contract after “a couple of good meetings” in the Prime Minister’s Office though its kits failed clinical trials;
- SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. received a $150 million contract for field hospitals no health manager asked for and none used.
“It serves us to be reminded of the massive amount of money that was transferred from government over the course of COVID,” said New Democrat MP Matthew Green (Hamilton Centre, Ont.).