The federal minister in charge of Indigenous Services has openly called out the wealthy Vancouver couple accused of flying to the Yukon so they could have a jump on the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I’m disgusted. Canadians expect the health-care system in Canada to be fair,” Marc Miller said Wednesday, adding, this “may be the dumbest thing I’ve seen in a long while.”
The couple in question are Rod Baker, CEO of Great Canadian Gaming at the time, and his wife Ekaterina, who allegedly flew to the First Nation community of Beaver Creek so they would not have to wait to receive the shot. It’s alleged the couple posed as essential workers to receive the Moderna vaccine.
Miller has proposed that there should be some form of compensation.
“I understand these people are wealthy, I won’t tell them what to do with their money, but perhaps reparations are due of some level,” he said.
In 2019, Baker was compensated $10,643,072 by Great Canadian Gaming, according to the company’s financial statements.
Miller further stressed that it “was the most idiotic thing I’ve seen in weeks. There’s lots of stuff on the internet that rises to that level.”
The Bakers also reportedly flouted the territory’s 14-day mandatory quarantine rule upon arrival. While they both have been ticketed and charged for violation of isolation rules in the Yukon, nothing has yet been proven in court.
For anyone thinking of following in the footsteps of this Vancouver couple, Miller has offered a simple message:
“You shouldn’t do it. It’s dumb. It’s wrong. It’s unfair.”
“There’s extreme scarcity of the doses and some people, for whatever reason, are trying to game the system,” he said.
The B.C. government has also made it clear that the couple will not be allowed to jump the line to receive their second dose, which is essential in order to be fully immunized.
“There is no room in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan for people who deliberately put vulnerable populations at risk in order to receive their vaccine before the start of their eligibility group,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement.
Rod Baker has since stepped down as CEO of his casino company.
— With files from Global News