CEO of Canada Pension Fund Forced to Resign after Trip to UAE for Vaccination
27 Feb 2021 23:05
Islam Times - The head of Canada’s largest pension fund, Mark Machin, has resigned a day after a report said he traveled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and received a coronavirus vaccine shot there as millions of Canadians waited to receive a jab in their own country amid a slow rollout.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Machin had received a COVID-19 vaccine shot in the UAE.
He submitted his resignation after discussions with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) on Thursday, the CPPIB said in a statement on Friday.
“While the CPPIB is an independent organization, we are very disappointed by this troubling situation and we support the swift action taken by the Board of Directors,” said Kat Cuplinskas, the press secretary for Canada’s Ministry of Finance, apparently referring to the acceptance of the resignation.
A spokeswoman for Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland said the minister had spoken to the CPPIB’s board of directors about Machin’s trip and made “clear that Canadians place their trust in the CPPIB and expect it to be held to a higher standard.”
The CPPIB, Canada’s largest pension fund and one of the world’s largest institutional investors, said John Graham would replace Machin as CEO, effective immediately.
Machin reportedly sent an internal memo to the board staff, acknowledging that he had taken a personal trip and had been in Dubai for a number of reasons, some of which were “deeply personal.” He said that the trip had been supposed to be “very private” and that he was disappointed it had become the focus of “expected criticism.”
Canada has not imposed a specific ban on traveling abroad, but the federal and provincial governments have advised against overseas trips to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Though the country was quick to order vaccines and approved the use of US-made Pfizer and BioNTech SE shots in early December, the nation has fallen far behind several other developed countries in administering vaccinations.
The government had managed to inoculate only 0.5% of the population as of Wednesday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has come under attack from opposition leaders and provincial premiers for the slow vaccination program.
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