July 13th, 2020

Instead of more coordination, Ford government hands over hotspot testing to private for-profit corporation

QUEEN’S PARK — New Democrats are demanding answers on the contract with for-profit, private corporation Switch Health for COVID-19 testing in the Windsor-Essex region.

“We desperately need the province to ramp up and properly coordinate on-farm and in-community testing in the region. Instead a private company with links to the Ford Government has been handed a contract,” said Taras Natyshak, who is the NDP Ethics And Accountability critic, and the MPP for Essex.

“Local mayors and community leaders are asking for more coordination – not a decentralized, privatized approach.”

Natyshak and the NDP believe Doug Ford needs to answer the following questions:

  • Was this contract tendered, or sole-sourced?
  • What are the details of the contract?
  • Which cabinet ministers or government officials met with Switch’s lobbyists?

Switch Health, the private for-profit health corporation Ford is bringing in, registered Jeff Silverstein in April to lobby Ford for a piece of the COVID-19 testing. Silverstein is the former Executive Director of PC Party Caucus Services, and creator of Ford’s infamous propaganda channel, OntarioNewsNow.

“This reeks of a favour to a buddy,” said Natyshak. “It might be what’s best for Switch’s profit margins, but it’s not what’s best for the Windsor-Essex region, which deserves a fully coordinated and properly executed public strategy.”


A job listing shows Switch hiring nurses away from their health care jobs in the Windsor area, to join their corporation for the purpose of this contract: https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:sJevjknF81AJ:https://ca.indeed.com/viewjob%3Fjk%3Dbce1e31718f12b90+&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca

Ontario’s Lobbyist Registration showing Silverstein’s registration on behalf of Switch Health