Jessica Bell MPP, University–Rosedale

Government of Ontario

For-profit COVID-19 tests go to Ontario’s public labs, while Ford contracts with failed U.S. company fired by Florida

Published on October 9, 2020

QUEEN’S PARK – Doug Ford is sending Ontarians’ COVID-19 swabs to an American company so disastrous it was fired by the state of Florida after losing the results of 75,000 of that state’s test results. Meanwhile, Ford’s allowing corporations that charge hundreds of dollars for a test to use Ontario’s public labs.

“The premier is privatizing health care at every chance he can get, and it’s making the COVID-19 testing debacle so much worse,” said Vanthof. “People are waiting days to get a test and days more for test results, all because Ford refuses to give public health units and labs here in Ontario the funding and staff they need.”

There’s unused lab capacity in Ontario that Ford refuses to pay to unlock. Dr. Tony Mazzulli, who oversees the lab at Mount Sinai, told the Toronto Star that his lab could handle thousands more tests everyday if they had the funding to remove a wall and bring testing machines up from storage.

Meanwhile, the government’s head of Ontario Health, Matthew Anderson, confirmed Tuesday that when someone pays to jump to the front of the queue and get a private test, their samples go straight to the public lab.

“Everyday folks are waiting and waiting, and those willing to shell out cash for a test are pushing them further back in line,” said Vanthof. “It’s time for this government to stop pinching pennies, stop trying to privatize health care, and get public health and public labs the funding they need to increase their capacity right now, before this crisis gets any worse.”


Quest, the company in California that the government is sending pharmacy tests to, has already been fired by Florida. In Sept. it was revealed that Quest failed to report 75,000 test results going back to April.

Government of Florida news release:

American news coverage of Quest failures: