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Canadian provinces facing high costs to rid expired hand sanitizer sent by Ottawa

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Hand sanitizers, disinfectant in high demand'
COVID-19: Hand sanitizers, disinfectant in high demand
WATCH - COVID-19: Hand sanitizers, disinfectant in high demand – Mar 3, 2020

Provinces are awash with expired hand sanitizer that Ottawa sent them during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The federal government spent $376 million to get more than 20 million litres of hand sanitizer, which the Public Health Agency of Canada distributed.

But now, most provinces have excess expired sanitizer and getting rid of it through disposal or repurposing comes with a hefty cost.

Saskatchewan is expecting to spend $100,000 to get rid of more than 350,000 litres of hand sanitizer that’s sitting in a Regina warehouse and Manitoba spent more than $462,000 to repurpose its extra sanitizer.

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Both provinces say they received more sanitizer from Ottawa than was necessary during the pandemic because they’d procured their own supply.

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Saskatchewan Opposition NDP Leader Carla Beck says provincial governments should have considered distributing the excess to non-profits, community organizations and others who were running short of supplies.

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