The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), a federal agency responsible for managing the country’s COVID-19 response, has approved a challenge coin-style project for its staff with an estimated cost of $120,000.
Better described as tokens (because the term “coin” refers to official currency issued by a government and assigned a denomination for use in trade and commerce), they are expected to be distributed among all 7,500 PHAC employees, according to a Jan. 9 report by Global News, which obtained related documents through an access-to-information request.
The brass nickel-plated tokens and their accompanying blue velvet presentation boxes could come at a cost of $16 an employee with a total estimated price of $120,000 approved by PHAC President Harpreet Kochhar last June.
The planned design includes English and French on opposite sides with what the PHAC documents described in documents as a “universally-recognized COVID-19 symbol,” the spiked virus particle as it appears under a microscope. The tokens were prepared for staff as an “everlasting expression of gratitude” for their work during the pandemic, according to the documents.