The chief executive of Canada’s largest pension fund which has funds totalling more than $300 billion has been forced to resign after it emerged that he had recently travelled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Persian Gulf on a vaccine holiday.
Mark Machin tendered his resignation after details of his vacation appeared in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board accepted his resignation with immediate effect on Friday.
“After discussions last evening with the Board, Mr. Machin tendered his resignation and it has been accepted,” CPP Investments confirmed in a statement on Friday.
Despite the Trudeau government repeatedly telling Canadian’s not to travel internationally amidst a brutal second wave of COVID-19 infections, Machin “decided to travel personally” with his wife to Dubai on a vaccine holiday.
Dubai started to offer private vaccinations at the start of this year with some packages sold by a private members club costing as much as $54,000 for a four-week trip that includes both vaccination doses, luxury accommodation and First Class flights to and from the Middle East.
Machin is believed to have received the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine during his stay in Dubai. Also on offer is the Oxford / AstraZeneca jab.
Although the Canadian government has stopped short of making it illegal to travel abroad, the government has gone to great lengths to dissuade its citizens from taking vacations. Along with convincing the likes of Air Canada and Westjet to suspend winter sun flights to Mexico and the Caribbean, all arriving passengers must quarantine in hotels for at least three days.
According to Our World in Data, the Canadian government’s vaccine rollout has got off to a slow start with only 4.52 doses administered per 100 people as of February 25. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines which are currently authorized for use in Canada require at least two doses.
Machin, who is 54 years old, is not currently eligible for free vaccination in Canada as part of the government’s Stage 1 rollout.
“It’s like we’re the pioneers of this new luxury travel vaccine programme. You go for a few weeks to a villa in the sunshine, get your jabs and your certificate and you’re ready to go,” Stuart McNeil, founder of private members club Knightsbridge Circle founder said of vaccination holidays last month.
“They land, have their first jab and wait for the second one. We’ve got some people that are going to India for the whole time and others are talking about flying in, having the first jab, flying out to Madagascar, and then coming back for the second jab later,” he continued.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.