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The Provincial Health Services Authority is in charge of several health-care programs including BC Cancer and the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, which Dix noted plays a key role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ernst & Young says in its report that it looked into allegations of a conflict of interest due to a possible relationship between Morin and a Montreal company that sold respirators last spring.
It says some of the respirators were deemed “counterfeit” but its findings suggested there was no pre-existing relationship between Morin or anyone at the company, identified by the Health Ministry as Luminarie, which could not be reached for comment.
The original order for personal protective equipment last March was outside of the health authority’s normal practices, which would have included due diligence procedures on the vendor, the report says.
“The unusual nature of the procurement resulted from global challenges in sourcing (personal protective equipment) at the time and the CEO’s involvement in the original purchase, including directing staff to issue a multimillion-dollar deposit to the Montreal vendor.”
After the orders were placed, a document within the health authority identified an individual with the same name as the CEO and the name of the founder of the company that sold the respirators, leading to rumours within the health authority about a conflict of interest, the report says.