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Mayor looking for clarity over COVID-19 vaccine clinic reimbursement

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Grande Prairie Mayor Jackie Clayton will be sending a letter to the province asking for clarity when it comes to the city being reimbursed for costs associated with the COVID-19 vaccine clinic.

Clayton says while the city is happy to support the provincial government in any way it can, the city is currently providing a space for the clinic at the Montrose Cultural Centre while absorbing the cost of the operation.

“Health care is a provincial demand and it’s typically managed at the provincial level, [and] the expenses that are coming through the city of Grande Prairie, including labour, the facility, parking attendants, is currently all being absorbed,” she adds.

“We are happy to help and happy to provide this asset to the region, but it shouldn’t be solely absorbed by the City of Grande Prairie taxpayers.”

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She adds Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIvor said at a recent conference that the province has no plans at the moment to repay that money. Clayton says the total cost of the clinic is unknown, as the COVID-19 situation remains fluid. However, as of now, she estimates it is already hovering around the $100,000 mark.

“The demands on the municipalities is not something we’ve budgeted for and not something we are prepared to absorb” she reiterates. So we are looking forward to having further discussions.”

At full capacity, the COVID-19 vaccine clinic in the city could provide immunization for as many as 900 people daily.

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