Update: see previous posts – March 31, 2012 ORNGE: Health Minister Considered Turning Funding Tap Off to ORNGE, March 27, 2012 ORNGE – Should Liberal Health Minister Deb Matthews Accept Responsibility For the ORNGE Scandal?, March 23, 2012 ORNGE – Liberals Refuse To Release Salaries of ORNGE Executives on Sunshine List, March 22, 2012 ORNGE: Ontario’s Auditor General Uncovers More Questionable Deals at ORNGE Air Ambulance Service, March 21, 2012 ORNGE: Former Ontario Liberal Health Minister Blames Ministry Officials and Board for Scandal at ORNGE, March 17, 2012 ORNGE: Auditor General Jim McCarter to Release Probe Wednesday, March 12, 2012 ORNGE: Ontarians Expected to Pay An Annual Tab of $22 Million (in addition to $150 Million) for ORNGE, March 9, 2012 ORNGE: Too Many Needless Government Agencies in Ontario, March 8, 2012 ORNGE: Demotes Top Executive Who Lied About Possessing Master of Business Administration Degree, March 7, 2012 ORNGE – Current Health Minister (Deb Matthews) Blames Former Health Minister (George Smitherman), March 6, 2012 ORNGE – Helicopters’ Tail Rotors Could Fall Off, says Frank Klees, March 5, 2012 ORNGE – How Much Did Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews Really Know?, March 2, 2012 ORNGE – Sells Gift (Chopper) from AugustaWestland Valued at $50K for $30,001.01, March 1, 2012 ORNGE – Ontario Opposition Parties Call On McGuinty to Have All-Party Probe of ORNGE, March 1, 2012 ORNGE – Some ORNGE Helicopters Unable to Enter U.S.A. Airspace, February 28, 2012 ORNGE – ORNGE Official Says He Lied About His MBA, February 28, 2012 ORNGE – ORNGE Fiasco could Hurt Ontario’s Ability to Cut Deficit: Former Deputy Health Minister, February 24, 2012 ORNGE – Where’s the $25 Million Dollars?, February 22, 2012 ORNGE – ORNGE Mistakes Disrupt Patient Care/Safety, February 22, 2012 ORNGE – Cohn: ORNGE leaves a black mark on Deb Matthews’ ambitious health reforms February 21, 2012 ORNGE – Minister of Health Refuses to Resign Over the ORNGE Scandal February 21, 2012, ORNGE – ORNGE Executives Let Taxpayers Down: Dalton McGuinty, February 19, 2012 ORNGE – Message to 400 ORNGE Employees “Shut Up or Face Criminal Charges & Jail Time”, February 16, 2012 ORNGE – Ontario Provincial Police Set to Investigate ORNGE, February 13, 2012 ORNGE Founder Chris Mazza Used Air Ambulance Expertise for His Own Business Interests, February 12, 2012 ORNGE – ORNGE Gave $1.2 million in Loans (One for a House), Plus a Huge Cash Advance, to Founder Dr. Chris Mazza Over the Past 18 Months, February 10, 2012 ORNGE – Did Alf Apps Quit Fasken Martineau or Did Fasken Martineau Quit Alf Apps?, February 8, 2012 ORNGE Scandal Teaches Belated Lessons, February 7. 2012 ORNGE – Dr. Chris Mazza, February 4, 2012 ORNGE – Paid Fasken Martineau Lawyer’s $9 Million Dollars Between 2006-2012, February 3, 2012 ORNGE – Auditor Warned Province Four Years Ago that ORNGE was “Handing Out Money Like Water”, February 3, 2012 ORNGE – Dr. Chris Mazza/Maria Renzella Terminated Without Severance, January 30, 2012 ORNGE’s Travel Medical Plan Targeted Those With $20 Million in Net Worth, January 28, 2012 Doctor Chris Mazza on Extended Indefinite Medical Leave – Needs to Answer Million$ of Questions, January 28, 2012 ORNGE Transports Patients In Dangerously Designed ORNGE Helicopters, January 26, 2012 ORNGE – ORNGE Foundation Charity Shut-Down and Closed, January 26, 2012 ORNGE – Has Appointed a New Board of Directors, 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 ?
Ontario’s bickering political parties agree on one thing: They want a warrant issued for ORNGE’s former CEO, Dr. Chris Mazza, to force him to appear before the committee investigating the air ambulance scandal.
The only trouble is, they can’t seem to find him.
Now, the all-party committee public accounts hearing into the affair has asked Speaker Dave Levac to issue a warrant for him to appear on May 16.
If Mazza can’t be reached, the warrant goes to his lawyer, Roger Yachetti, the motion reads.
Mazza, a former physician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, left the service that he founded, terminated after a series of scandals involving secretive and high salaries, executive perks, mysterious payments from suppliers and wasted public money. At ORNGE, Mazza earned $1.4 million a year.
The extremely unusual move to seek a warrant — it was last done 21 years ago — is now before Levac, who was unavailable for comment Thursday.
Progressive Conservative MPP Frank Klees, a committee member, said they had to resort to this move because Mazza hasn’t responded to requests to appear.
“Seeing as he is a key figure in this, it is important we hear from him sooner than later,” said Klees. “The fact we didn’t know where he was is disconcerting to us. You never know what people have in mind.”
The last time a speaker’s warrant was issued was during the 1991 imbroglio concerning doctors’ billings and questions over former NDP MPP Shelley Martel’s access to confidential information. An inquiry was held and Sudbury businessman Keith Harfield, a reluctant witness, received a speaker’s warrant.
On Wednesday, the nine-person committee, which is dominated by PCs and the NDP, heard Premier Dalton McGuinty’s political mastermind was hired to advise on ORNGE by a key Liberal lawyer who did some work for the air ambulance service.
Alfred Apps, the former president of the Liberal Party of Canada, said he consulted with Don Guy, director of McGuinty’s election campaign, twice on ORNGE matters.
Also testifying Wednesday was Louis Bartolotta, AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation’s executive vice-president. AgustaWestland manufactures turbine-powered helicopters in use all over the world.
Klees asked Bartolotta about Finmeccanica, a main shareholder of AgustaWestland. Finmeccanica’s chair Pier Francesco Guarguaglini resigned in 2011 after a series of corruption scandals. “Prosecutors exposed a system of patronage, slush funds, bribery and kickbacks at this company,” noted Klees.
Bartolotta responded: “Sir, you’re talking about reports in the press. I can only tell you I have no more knowledge of what went on (at) Finmeccanica at that level than you do.”
Klees said it was important to have the discussion about Finmeccanica due to a “very interesting payment” of $6.7 million by Agusta to ORNGE, made a short period of time after a multi-million helicopter purchase.