Trudeau Liberals demonstrated ‘absolute incompetence’ with COVID ventilator boondoggle

‘This government is awesome at spending and awesome at making promises,’ said Conservative MP Dean Allison. ‘What they are terrible at is actually delivering [and] managing taxpayers’ money in a responsible way.’

Trudeau Liberals demonstrated ‘absolute incompetence’ with COVID ventilator boondoggle
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Opposition MPs heavily criticized the federal government Monday for selling costly COVID ventilators for pennies on the dollar. 

The Public Health Agency on April 22 confirmed it sold unused $22,600 ventilators from StarFish Medical Company as scrap metal for as low as $6 apiece. 

Federal agencies have yet to explain why they could not find buyers for the products, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.

“Any government can promise to spend money,” said Conservative MP Dean Allison. “This government is awesome at spending and awesome at making promises.”

“What they are terrible at is actually delivering,” he clarified. “What they are absolutely incompetent at is managing taxpayers’ money in a responsible way.”

According to the Department of Public Works, the federal government spent $720 million on rush orders for 40,456 ventilators it mostly never used. During the COVID pandemic, the feds deployed just 500 ventilators nationwide.

In 2020, Ottawa purchased 7,500 StarFish Medical ventilators as part of a massive $169.5 million sole-source contract. 

As many as 25,000 devices were considered “useless.” 

A few ventilators, despite concerns over their viability, were sent to Ukraine as part of Canadian war relief efforts.

Then-Public Works Minister Anita Anand earlier testified that Cabinet received no refunds for the faulty ventilators. “I have the Canadian taxpayers' interests at heart when doing my job,” she claimed.

Although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier touted the contracts as a success, the Department of Health did not explain why they scrapped ventilators licensed for hospital use.

StarFish Medical also refrained from commenting on the matter. 

One paramedic who purchased 51 units said the ventilators were in their original factory wrapping, and received by the federal government well into 2022.

“I bought 50,” said Luke Halstead, an Ontario paramedic. “About half of them were in their original shipping crates. They were brand new.”

“What happened to all those ventilators?” asked MP Allison. “Some of them are still in the wrap, still on loading docks, and being sold for $6 as parts. This is the height of incompetence.”

Hundreds of disassembled units were sold early last year, according to records.

MP Allison cited the scrap metal auction as illustrative of federal waste in Commons debate on Bill C-69 the Budget Implementation Act, reported Blacklock’s Reporter. It raised the national debt ceiling to a record $2.13 trillion, the second time in three years. 

“My challenge with this government is really the competence level,” said Allison. “At the end of the day this government has no problem spending money.  The challenge is actually getting results.”

On Monday, Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux, parliamentary secretary to the Government House Leader, did not discuss the ventilator program. Instead, he denied accusations that the federal government spent recklessly. 

“Canada’s debt is very much under control,” said Lamoureux.

“It wasn’t that long ago in which we had a worldwide pandemic,” he added. “We literally spent billions and billions and billions and billions of dollars to support Canadians.”

In a 2021 submission to the Commons Health Committee, Thornhill Medical ($200.5 million), CAE Inc. of Montréal ($282.5 million) and Baylis Medical Company of Montréal ($237 million), received a combined $720 million in ventilator contracts. 

The latter belongs to one-term Liberal MP Frank Baylis, who decided not to run for reelection in September 2019. FTI Professional Grade, an obscure company formed one week before the contract was awarded the following March, later subcontracted it to Baylis Medical.

Rebel News requested details on the ventilator contract to Baylis Medical, but were stonewalled by the federal government circa December 2020. 

Thornhill Medical is based out of Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s riding. Almost all of their ventilators never left their Ottawa warehouse and remain unused over failing to meet “technical requirements.”

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