Retired general Rick Hillier leaving role as Ontario vaccine task force head: Ford

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford, right, speaks with retired chief of national defence staff Gen. Rick Hillier, chair of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, during a meeting at the Queen's Park in Toronto on Friday December 4, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO — Premier Doug Ford says the head of Ontario’s vaccine task force will be leaving the job in a few weeks.

Ford says retired general Rick Hillier’s contract expires on March 31 at which point he will leave the role.

He says Hillier took the job indicating it would only be a short-term appointment and that he would help the province set up its vaccine distributions network.

Ford says he has tried to persuade Hillier to continue on in the role, but he has said individual health units are now in a position to continue the rollout.

He says Hillier’s recent statement that every Ontarian should have their first dose of the vaccine by June 20 remains the government’s target.

The province has faced criticism about the slow rollout of the COVID-19 immunization process but Ford has said the rollout depends on supplies provided by the federal government.

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