Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz resigned from the Ontario COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Task Force on Tuesday because she travelled outside the country in December.
Ivana Yelich, director of communications for Premier Doug Ford, said the premier accepted Hasenfratz’s resignation “after it was brought to his attention that she travelled outside the country in December.”
Hasenfratz has apologized for her decision to do travel.
“While it is true that I travelled outside the country over the holidays, I followed all pandemic protocols of both countries and remain in quarantine today as public health guidelines require,” Hasenfratz said in a statement to Automotive News Canada. “I regret my decision to travel, and I apologize to the Premier, General [Rick] Hillier and members of the task force for any impact this may have had on their work.”
Neither Hasenfratz, Linamar or the Premier’s Office would say to where Hasenfratz travelled or the reason for her trip outside Canada.
Hasenfratz was one of nine people the Ontario government appointed to its new COVID-19 vaccine panel during the first week of December. The panel, headed by retired chief of national defence staff Gen. Rick Hillier, is overseeing distribution of the vaccine in Ontario.
Provincial and federal politicians, along with medical experts, have been discouraging international travel during the pandemic as a way to curb the spread of the deadly virus. The Canada-U.S. land border remains closed to non-essential travel, although Canadians can enter the United States by air — and must self isolate for 14 days upon return.
Several government officials — at the federal and provincial levels — as well as public health executives in Ontario have been fired or resigned after travelling outside Canada.