Ottawa Spends $631 Million On COVID-19 Testing At Border

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The federal government in Ottawa is spending $631 million for COVID-19 border testing and other screening services.

Public Services and Procurement Canada says it has awarded three companies with contracts worth up to $631 million. Those companies are Switch Health, LifeLabs and Dynacare, which are carrying out testing of international travellers entering Canada at airports and land border crossings.

The government says the companies provide comprehensive testing services, including appointment booking, test administration and results management. They also provide testing support for temporary foreign workers, refugees, asylum seekers and international students.

Switch Health is responsible for testing services in Ontario, Alberta and Atlantic Canada with a contract worth $440 million, followed by LifeLabs in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Yukon with a contract worth $111 million, and Dynacare in Quebec and Manitoba with a contract worth $80 million.

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Ottawa says the contracts represent the total approved value of the border testing, but that amount may not be fully spent as companies are paid for the services they deliver.

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