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New Democrat MP Charlie Angus is calling for an expanded investigation into "alleged favouritism in the awarding of federal contracts," over the quarter-billion contract given to former Liberal MP Frank Baylis' biomedical company. according to Blacklock's Reporter.
"My good friend Frank Baylis, who I sat with for a number of years on committee, gets a contract," said Angus. "How did that contract happen?"
The Montreal-based Baylis Medical Company Inc. was awarded a federal contract totalling $237 million to purchase 10,000 ventilators. The ventilators, though, had never been "approved in any jurisdiction to date," a Department of Health memo revealed.
"The Government of Canada awarded a contract for approximately $237,300,000 to FTI Professional Grade Inc. for the purchase of 10,000 V4C-560 ventilators which are manufactured by Baylis Medical," a spokesperson for the department said last week.
"The government needs to be on notice that the money they’re spending in a pandemic is an unprecedented amount of money," said Angus. "The money has to go out the door fast, but it has to follow the rules so Canadians' interests are put first, and not just people who know people in the government, not just in the power of the lobbyists."
Angus continued: "Prior to the We Scandal Canadians had a real sense of trust, that we were in an unprecedented economic and medical crisis, the government is there to work for us, we put our confidence in them, and then we saw the We Scandal... People said, wait a minute: A group that close to the Prime Minister’s Office was given that much money? How did that happen?"
"It raises questions about other contracts," Angus concluded.
Contracts given to Baylis' company include $273,237 towards the medical contract itself, with an additional $422,946 "research contract" with the Department of Industry, totalling $696,183 in taxpayer dollars.
The contracts raised red flags, 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."
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."