‘Big Tobacco’ COVID-19 vaccine: what were the Liberals thinking?

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Is our government naïve or was it blindsided by a political bias in favour of just about any development in Quebec?

After being late to procure COVID-19 vaccines for Canadians, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau proudly announced in October 2020 that his government had invested up to $173 million in Medicago to support the manufacturing, development and purchase of 76 million doses of a made-in-Canada vaccine.

The announcement was “a testament to Canada’s commitment to evidence-based solutions to fight the global COVID-19 pandemic,” according to Trudeau, while then minister of health Patty Hajdu said, “The government is doing its part to help support innovative Canadian companies.” The speeches, press releases and coverage all sounded good.

What the Liberals did not tell Canadians was that big tobacco company Philip Morris International (PMI) owned a one-third share of Medicago or that Medicago’s CEO at that time had previously been PMI’s vice-president of regulatory affairs. PMI had invested an undisclosed sum in the development of the company and its vaccine.

Read full article here.

Nigel Rawson and John Adams – Financial Post – 2022-04-14

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