By Western Standard
January 20, 2022
There is not a single document, e-mail or memo explaining an $81.9 million budget line item to promote vaccinations in the public service, says Blacklock’s Reporter.
Treasury Board President Mona Fortier couldn’t explain the cost when questioned earlier in the Commons.
“After a thorough search no information related to your request exists,” board staff wrote in reply to an Access To Information request.
The board had no “memos, e-mails, accounting statements or similar documents indicating a detailed breakdown or summary on the allocation of resources related to the funding to implement the policy on COVID-19 vaccination.”
The board last November 15 began enforcement of its Policy On Covid-19 Vaccination For The Core Public Administration. Data showed 95% of 282,000 employees under the board were already vaccinated at the time.
Eleven days later on November 26, the board tabled budget documents in Parliament, called Supplementary Estimates (B), that included a line item for $81,862,313 “to implement the Policy On Covid-19 Vaccination.”
But no explanation was given.
Conservative MP Kelly McCauley (Edmonton West) earlier said the figure appeared exorbitant.
“Treasury Board officials told us it was for rapid testing purchases and distribution,” McCauley told the Commons December 9.
“The Treasury Board website shows there are 3,400 unvaccinated employees seeking accommodation. That works out to about $24,000 per employee for rapid testing. How does the government justify this?”
“Health and safety of our public servants is our No. 1 priority,” replied Fortier.
“At $24,000 per employee who is providing these rapid tests?” asked McCauley.
“Is it SNC-Lavalin?”
President Fortier did not comment.
No Treasury Board manager to date has explained the $81.9 million budget. The funding was to cover a four-month period expiring this March 31.