Linda Hasenfratz, CEO of Linamar Corp and a member of Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, has resigned. Premier Doug Ford accepted Hasenfratz’s resignation after she travelled outside of Canada in December. Public health officials have been urging Canadians to avoid non-essential travel for almost a year now.
The Globe and Mail was the first to obtain information about Hasenfratz’s travel. Hasenfratz told Premier Doug Ford and retired General Rick Hillier that she did not want her travel to “ cause distraction” from the task force’s work.
“While it is true that I travelled outside the country over the holidays, I followed all pandemic protocols of both the countries and remain in quarantine today as public health guidelines require,” Hasenfratz said in a statement to the Globe and Mail.
Premier Doug Ford said that she apologized for her decision to travel. Hasenfratz was not the first person in the public eye to travel abroad. A few government officials have been caught travelling abroad since the start of the pandemic. In fact, you can fill a small plane with the ones who have been vacationing in the tropics and “resigning” right after “revealing” their travels.
Ontario’s MPP Rod Phillips resigned as finance minister after it was revealed that he took a vacation to St. Barts. Premier Doug Ford knew about Phillips’ holiday and even spoke with him over the phone. During his time on the island, Ford did not tell him to return until the public gained access to the information.
“I did call him shortly after he arrived. My mistake, and I take full responsibility. At that time, I should have said get your backside back into Ontario, and I didn’t do that,” said Premier Ford.
Two Ontario hospital CEOs have also lost their jobs for travelling during the pandemic. According to sources, the task force members who are not employed in the Ontario Public Service are paid $398 per day. However, General Hillier is being paid $20,000 a month for running the task force.
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