Update: see previous posts – January 24, 2012 ORNGE – 18 Middle-Management & Charity Program Cut, January 22, 2012 ORNGE architect George Smitherman brokered meeting between Korean officials and ORNGE, January 16, 2012 ORNGE – “The Jig is Up”, December 29, 2011 There Are Some Red Faces at ORNGE, December 27, 2011 ORNGE Hires New Spin Doctor, December 26, 2011 Doctor’s Salary Quadruples In Four (4) Years to $1.4 Million, December 20, 2011 Wanted: Paramedics for Emergency Flights on ORNGE’s Air Ambulance Helicopters, December 6, 2011 Orangeh Gonna Tell The Taxpayers How Much of Their Money You’ve Spent on Yourself?
The house cleaning at ORNGE, the province’s troubled air ambulance service, continued Wednesday with a new board of directors that includes a respected former cabinet minister from the Mike Harris era.
Former solicitor general Charles Harnick, a lawyer, will be one of six members on the board headed by mining executive Ian Delaney, chair of Sherritt International Corporation.
“Our goal is to restore public confidence in this critical service,” Health Minister Deb Matthews said after the government “recommended” that ORNGE appoint the new slate.
The previous board was fired earlier this month after a string of troubles at the service, including the revelation its chief executive, Dr. Chris Mazza, was paid $1.4 million a year. He is now on indefinite medical leave.
Forensic auditors are now going over the books at ORNGE, which started a series of for-profit businesses to “leverage” the $150 million a year the service gets from taxpayers.
Among the auditors’ targets is a questionable $6.7 million payment to ORNGE for “marketing services” from Agusta Westland, a firm that supplied $144 million worth of air ambulance helicopters to the service. Those helicopters have been criticized for not having enough overhead space for paramedics to easily perform CPR on patients.
The new board has been asked to wind down the for-profit operations at ORNGE, work with the forensic audit team to ensure “proper accountability for public funds,” negotiate a new performance agreement with the provincial government and conduct a comprehensive review of patient care and safety measures. This follows concerns air ambulances have been too slow to take off in responding to emergencies.
Delaney, well known in Canadian and international business circles for his company’s dealings in Cuba, stepped down as chief executive of Sherritt in November but remains chairman of the company in addition to his new duties with ORNGE.
Also named to the board are Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre chief executive Barry McLellan, former Confederation College president Patricia Lang, Maneesh Mehta, co-founder of the Black Box Institute and a member of the board of the Central Local Health Integration Network, Patrice Merrin, chairman and interim chief executive of CML Healthcare, and Patricia Volker, an instructor with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario.