All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

Sunshine list not for the faint of heart

The “SUNSHINE” list is out. Recently the provincial government released the list of all public employees who made more than $100,000 in 2010. Astonishingly enough, the list has increased 11% even though Ontario has a deficit of $16 billion.

In these extremely difficult economic times when many taxpayers struggle to put food on the table and gas in cars, many of these salaries are outrageous. One example is former deputy Minister of Health Ron Sapsford who received a huge “golden handshake”. Mr Sapsford resigned as health deputy minister in Nov 2009 and left the Ministry on Jan 3, 2010. As I had reported in an earlier article in 2009, his salary and benefits were channelled through Hamilton Health Centre and not the Ministry of Health.

Is it possible that the hospital pension (HOOPP) is more lucrative than the Ministry plan? His salary of $672,916 in 2010 with expenses of $89,152 were lumped in with people making more than $100,000 at the Hamilton Health Centre. Keep in mind that Sapsford resigned at a time when he was in charge of the $1 billion e Health ‘boondoggle’ and the then Minister of Health George Smitherman was about to announce his candidacy for Mayor of Toronto. Food for thought. When was the last time you heard of someone receiving a full year’s salary even though he quit 3 days into the year.
Also visible on the ‘Sunshine’ list were employees of the Southeast Local Health Integration Network (headquartered in Belleville) Approximately $1.5 Million was paid to 10 SELHIN employees making over $100,000. CEO Paul Huras led the pack at $320,000. Our local LHIN spends approximately $4-5 Million on administration alone. Over the last 3 years $225 Million has been spent on administration of the 14 LHINs  province wide. To my knowledge not one penny of administrative salaries has been spent on frontline healthcare.

Conservative leader Tim Hudak has said that, if elected he would remove the 14 LHINs. He certainly got my attention. For the most part many taxpayers do not object to the majority of the public employees making over $100,000. In fact I’m certain many of these salaries are well earned. What the taxpayers object to is that even though hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost in the private sector the public sector compensated fat-cat bureaucrats handsomely who quit their jobs. Put into perspective these bureaucrats outrageous ‘golden handshakes’ contrasted with the fact that Prince Edward County residents have been struggling for the last 13 years to retain what few services and beds (19 medical and 2 obstetrical) that remain at their local hospital.

The Ont. Health Coalition has recently released a report stating that 30% or $500 Million of the Homecare budget has been spent on administration and case management. Even more shocking is that the provincial auditor found that there were 10,000 on a wait list for care. It is a fact that there is no less than four tiers of administration in homecare.The Community Care Access Centre and LHINs must bear some responsibility for these shocking statistics.

You may view the ‘Sunshine’ list at
www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/publications/salarydisclosure/2011/. I warn you that it is not for the ‘faint of heart’. I for one will be running (not walking) to the polls on Oct. 6 when the next provincial election takes place. I hope that many of you are not far behind me.
Fran Renoy, Picton

Filed Under: Letters and Opinion

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