The Montreal-based Baylis Medical Company Inc., owned by former Quebec Liberal MP Frank Baylis, received nearly $700,000 in taxpayer dollars to make 10,000 pandemic ventilators. The machines, however, were never "approved in any jurisdiction to date," a memo from the Department of Health revealed.
"We now find out Frank Baylis, a former Liberal MP, has received an undisclosed value contract," Conservative MP John Brassard said in Commons. "While those governed are losing their homes, businesses, jobs and futures, the Prime Minister’s family and friends are doing just fine."
The biotech company was given a the go-ahead to make 10,000 ventilators by October 21. Baylis, who serves as chairman for the medical company, served one term as a Liberal MP from 2015 to 2019 and did not seek reelection.
"Will the Liberals tell us what the exact dollar figure was for the contract they gave to their friend?" Conservative MP Michael Barrett asked. “What was the amount?”
Contracts given to Baylis include $273,237 for the medical contract, and an additional $422,946 "research contract" with the Department of Industry, totaling $696,183 in taxpayer dollars.
According to Blacklock's Reporter, Baylis was a "generous donor" to the Liberal Party, having donated over $66,000 from 2005 onward.
The contract raises immediate eyebrows, as the Conflict of Interests Act clearly states that former MPs should not "act in such a manner as to take improper advantage of his or her previous public office."
A memo from the department of health states that the ventilators, the VFC-560, are a "new" type of ventilator that "has not been approved in any jurisdiction to date."
The Baylis Medical Company website describes themselves as "a world leader in the conception, development, production and distribution of state-of-the-art medical products that improve the lives of people around the world."
A memo posted on the site published on July 17 states that "with the Health Canada approval, manufacturing of the 10,000 ventilators can begin, with the first shipment distributed shortly after that."