The department of public works, for the first time on Monday, admitted that it took a risk by providing financial support for a vaccine factory located in Minister Jean-Yves Duclos' riding.According to Blacklock’s Reporter, taxpayers incurred a loss of $150 million.“We took a risk of putting contracts with various suppliers for enough vaccines for all Canadians,” said Joelle Paquette, director general of the public works department. At the Commons Health committee, Paquette commented on subsidies to build a Medicago Incorporated plant in Minister Duclos Québec City constituency.“I have the privilege of having Medicago in my riding,” Duclos told the Commons in 2021. The plant was never finished and no vaccines from Medicago were ever delivered. The ownership of taxpayer-funded research returned to Medicago's Japanese parent company Mitsubishi Chemical Group.“Who owns the intellectual property?” asked Conservative MP Rick Perkins (South Shore-St. Margarets, NS). “Medicago owns the intellectual property,” replied Paquette.Perkins called the arrangement “just unbelievable.” Paquette confirmed that the contracting process was unconventional.“We did not know at the time which vaccines would actually be authorized,” said Paquette. “There was no vaccine that existed at the time we put these contracts in place. We took a risk.”Andrea Andrachuk, another director general at the department of public works, stated that Medicago had received $150 million through a 2020 Advance Purchase Agreement. However, this contract was cancelled when Medicago announced on February 3 that it was closing its operations in Québec City, resulting in the loss of approximately 600 jobs.“The Public Health Agency asked the department of public works to reduce or eliminate the delivery of some of Medicago doses in order to readjust its stocks and avoid wastage and costs of logistics,” testified Andrachuk. “Medicago was also facing product challenges and delivery date challenges.”“Discussions were undertaken with Medicago to revisit the contract,” said Andrachuk. “The parent company Mitsubishi announced it was going to discontinue its activities in North America.”“A $150 million non-refundable advance payment was made to Medicago in accordance with the Advance Purchase Agreement,” said Andrachuk. “Medicago met all terms for the payment.”Terms of the Advance Purchase Agreement were secret, MPs were told. “Could you tell us something about those conditions?” asked Bloc Québécois MP Julie Vignola (Beauport-Limoilou, QC). “No, I cannot,” replied Andrachuk.“There was a lot of risk at the time. We didn’t know which vaccines, if any, would get Health Canada approval and even if they did, when they would be available.”The cabinet spent $8 billion for vaccines and worked with seven manufacturers: AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Medicago, Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer, and Sanofi. However, the details of these contracts have not been shared with parliamentary committees.