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Ontario taps Western University chancellor, bioethics professor for vaccine task force

The Ontario government has selected two prominent members of the Western University community for its task force for distributing and administering a COVID-19 vaccine in the province.

Linda Hasenfratz is an autoparts magnate and Maxwell Smith studied the response to Ebola

The Ontario government has selected two prominent members of the Western University community for its task force for distributing and administering a COVID-19 vaccine in the province: autoparts magnate Linda Hasenfratz and professor Maxwell Smith. (Western University)

The Ontario government has named a task force for the province's future rollout of a vaccine against the coronavirus and London, Ont.'s Western University has two prominent seats at the table. 

Autoparts magnate Linda Hasenfratz, who is currently serving in the largely ceremonial role as Western's chancellor and bioethics professor Maxwell Smith have been selected to be part of a panel in charge of the distribution and administration of a COVID-19 vaccine in Ontario. 

Hasenfratz, who is the CEO of Guelph, Ont.-based autoparts maker Linamar Corporation, oversees an international manufacturing empire with 60 factories in 17 countries, making her one of the most powerful businesswomen in Canada. She was installed as Western's chancellor last fall.

Smith is a professor of bioethics who served as an ethics advisor for the World Health Organization. He was also paid by the Canadian government to study the world's response to the Ebola virus and how it might serve as an ethics template for the rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine in Canada. 

Both Hasenfratz and Smith were named, along with the other members of the task force on Friday in a news release sent to the media from the office of Health Minister Christine Elliott. 

The task force is a panoply of some of the most important figures in the province when it comes to medicine, logistics, leadership and industry. The task force includes:

  • Dr. Dirk Huyer, Ontario's Chief Coroner and the coordinator of the province's COVID-19 response.
  • Dr. Homer Tien, a trauma surgeon who is also president and CEO of Ontario's Ornge air ambulance service.
  • Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases consultant at Toronto General Hospital.
  • Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald of Taykwa Tagamou Nation.
  • Dr. Regis Vaillancourt, the director of pharmacy at Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
  • Angela Mondou, the president and CEO, Technation.
  • Mark Saunders, the former Toronto Police Chief.
  • Rich Hillier, the former Chief of Defence Staff for the Canadian Armed Forces.

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