Public Works Minister Anita Anand is justifying a pandemic distribution deal for protective equipment with Amazon by saying it is a Canadian company.
But she wouldn’t disclose the terms of the deal.
“Amazon Canada is a Canadian company,” Anand told the government operations committee.
“It’s not a foreign company. We are working with Amazon Canada.”
Deputy Minister Bill Matthews told the committee the contract was more complex.
“It’s very much a distinct arrangement at no costs – I’m sorry, no profits for the first few months, and we’ll go from there,” said Matthews.
The department would not reveal terms of the contract or explain Matthews’ remarks.
Bloc Québécois MP Julie Vignola questioned why cabinet did not use Canada Post — a Crown corporation — to handle $2 billion in orders for pandemic supplies.
“Is Canada Post not capable of doing the same thing Amazon is doing?” she asked.
Amazon is providing use of their online business platform to help manage the inventory, said Anand.
“This agreement is important to ensuring masks, gloves and other vital equipment are provided to frontline health care workers as quickly as possible,” Anand said.