The $237 million was given to the obscure firm FTI Professional Grade. This firm had been officially created only seven days before obtaining the contract from the federal government and its website showed that FTI had only two employees.
The contract was for the manufacturing of 10,000 ventilators.
Soon after obtaining the contract, FTI hired the firm Baylis to handle the manufacturing of the ventilators. Baylis belongs to Frank Baylis, an ex-liberal MP and an active member of the party since the 1980s.
Frank Baylis became the MP for the riding of Pierrefonds-Dollard in 2015 and stayed in this position until 2019. Baylis is a known acquaintance of Justin Trudeau.
The timing and circumstances of this contract raise many red flags. Similar questions were raised when the Trudeau government gave a massive contract to the WE organization in the midst of the pandemic, an organization known to be close and friendly with the Trudeau government.
According to the Journal de Montréal, the Trudeau government overpaid this contract by nearly $100 million.
The company Medtronic is one of the main ventilator manufacturers. Medtronic sells its unit for approximately $10,000 US, or $13,700 CAD. The ventilators manufactured by Baylis were based on the Medtronic model, but Baylis charged the Canadian government $23,700 per unit.
The federal government overpaid $10,000 CAD on each ventilator in a contract for 10,000 units, amounting to approximately $100 million dollars in excess costs.
Other ventilator manufacturers such as Vingroup, based in Vietnam, have used Medtronic’s plans to manufacture their own ventilator unit which they sell for $7,000 US.
“This definitely needs to be looked into by a parliamentary committee. It’s possible that there are special circumstances given the urgency, but there’s no reason now, after the fact, not to go back and examine what those might be. If there is any evidence of inappropriate favouritism, it needs to be answered for. This is taxpayer money and it needs to be used prudently, not used to line the pockets of politically-connected individuals”, Aaron Wudrick, Federal Director at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation told Westphalian Times.
The Trudeau government has been vehemently opposed to the adoption of an anti-corruption committee in parliament. Conservatives and Bloc MPs have voiced their intention to vote for the creation of such a committee, but the liberals said they are willing to call for a snap election to make sure an anti-corruption committee does not see the light of day.