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Ottawa awards COVID-19 border testing contracts worth $631M

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The federal government has awarded three companies with contracts worth up to $631 million in total for COVID-19 border testing and other screening services.

Public Services and Procurement Canada says Switch Health, LifeLabs and Dynacare are carrying out testing of international travellers entering Canada at airports and land border crossings.

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Department spokesman Gabriel Leboeuf says the companies provide comprehensive testing services, including appointment booking, test administration and results management.

He says they also provide further 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 up to $440 million, followed by LifeLabs in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Yukon with a contract worth up to $111 million, and Dynacare in Quebec and Manitoba with a contract worth up to $80 million.

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Leboeuf says the contracts represent the total approved value of the border testing contracts, yet that amount may not be fully spent as companies are paid for services delivered.

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