Ex-Liberal MP Frank Baylis gets federal contract for COVID-19 ventilators

Ex-Liberal MP Receives Federal Contract for COVID-19 Ventilators

A former Quebec Liberal MP was awarded a Health Canada contract for ventilators not approved in any jurisdiction to date, and the feds won't disclose the amount of the payment.

Frank Baylis, head of Baylis Medical Company, was elected to represent the riding of Pierrefonds—Dollard for the Liberals in the 2015 federal election. However, Baylis did not run for reelection in 2019.

A Health Ministry memo obtained by Blacklock’s Reporter about the June 15, 2020 contract award for the delivery of 10,000 ventilators by October 21 says it was meant “to help with Covid-19”.

Corporate filings for Baylis Medical Company reflect an address form identical to the former MP’s home and the internal briefing documents obtained by Blacklock’s do not disclose the amount paid to Baylis for the delivery of the unapproved ventilators.

According to Blacklock's:

Baylis served two years on the Commons industry committee. The Conflict Of Interest Act states no former MP “shall act in such a manner as to take improper advantage of his or her previous public office”. The Act also mandates a one-year cooling off period that restricts all ex-legislators from entering into any contract with a federal agency with “which he or she had direct and significant dealings” for one year after leaving office.

The health department in a memo Approval Of The Baylis VFC-560 Ventilator noted “VFC” stood for “ventilators for Canadians”. “Baylis has been using this expression frequently when referring to their ventilator,” wrote staff.

“The VFC-560 is new and has not been approved in any jurisdiction to date,” said the memo. “This ventilator is manufactured in Montréal.”

Baylis served on the Commons Ethics Committee so he is not unfamiliar with the Conflict of Interest Act that now governs his new contact with Health Canada, but he wasn’t exactly a stickler for the rules in his time on the committee.

Baylis once missed an important motion — his own — to amend House of Commons rules because he was taking a sauna:

“I made a mistake in my Google calendar,” he explained. “I practiced my speech a couple of times and I said to myself, ‘You know what I’m going to do?’ – which I’ve never done before – I said to myself, I’m going to the gym first and work off a bit of my nervous energy, have a sauna and really come out relaxed.”

“I tried to be philosophical about it,” said Baylis. “Maybe God was talking to me or something like that.”