Member of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination task force resigns after travel outside country

A member of Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force has resigned after she travelled outside of Canada in December, the premier’s office says.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford accepted the resignation of Linda Hasenfratz on Tuesday.

Ivana Yelich, spokesperson for the premier, said in a statement on Tuesday that  Hasenfratz has apologized for her decision to travel.

“Thanks to the efforts of all Ontarians, we are starting to see early signs of progress in bending the curve,” Yelich said.

“Now is not the time to let up. We continue to urge everyone to stay home.”

Hasenfratz is the CEO of Linamar Corporation, a Canadian company that manufactures and supplies products to automotive and industrial markets. It is the country’s second-largest automobile parts manufacturer.

In a description after Hasenfratz was named, the Ontario government said: “Leading the global advanced manufacturing company for almost 20 years, she has significant lean manufacturing, process development and logistics expertise in creating solutions for the automotive and industrial sectors.” 

Retired gen. Rick Hillier is chair of the task force, which had nine members until Hasenfratz resigned.

The government said the task force provides advice and recommendations on the rollout of Ontario’s COVID-19 immunization program. 

It is focusing on delivery, logistics and administration, clinical guidance as well as public education and outreach, the government said. Members of the task force include experts in logistics and distribution, bioethics, behavioural science, vaccines, vulnerable populations and IT infrastructure.

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