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Calling on PCs to Audit Pandemic Spending and Business Supports

Treaty 1 - Homeland, Red River Métis, Winnipeg, MB - Manitoba Liberals are calling on the PCs to call a special audit into government spending and business supports after millions of dollars wasted throughout the pandemic.

Three deals alone, totaling $35-million, delivered nothing for Manitobans, and almost all of it left the province.

The PCs spent:

• $19-million US - ($26.6-million Canadian in April 2020) to purchase millions of masks that didn't fit and couldn't be used, resulting in a lawsuit from the supplier.

• $1.2-million in unusable, hand sanitizer made with fuel ethanol that had never been approved for sale by Health Canada.

• A non-refundable down payment of $7.2-million to Providence Therapeutics, a Calgary start-up that had never successfully developed a vaccine at all, for a vaccine booster that will never be delivered.

"For all the good it did, the PCs might as well have taken $35-million and set it on fire," said Dougald Lamont, Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St. Boniface. "Given the number of untendered contracts that have been handed out, it's fair to suppose that these aren't the only three deals that were a colossal waste of money."

Lamont said the Premier should call a special audit into pandemic spending, including business supports programs. If the government refuses, Manitoba Liberals will ask the Auditor General to do so.

"Two years ago, we made it clear to this government that they needed to watch out for people looking to profit off this crisis. They were supposed to avoid it, not add to it," said Lamont.

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