Friday, June 12, 2009

e-Health: Ontario's Adscam?

Most of the bloggers have already done an excellent job with posts about the decision Iggy now must make in regards to forcing a summer election. In that light I've decided to take the time to post about what appears to Ontario's version of Adscam. What started out as criticism about Liberal patronage appointments is now spreading to greater proportions, with Ontario taxpayers realizing they have been paying out millions for work of little or no value.

It now seems that every day we have new revelations coming out, and if there is nothing that has taken place illegally, it certainly shows the gross incompetence of both David Caplan as minister, and Dalton McGuinty and the Liberal Party of Ontario. In the latest installment we now learn a consultant was billing for Tim Horton's tea and Choco Bites:

"An eHealth Ontario consultant who was paid $2,700 a day – and still charged taxpayers $1.65 for Tim Hortons tea and $3.99 for Choco Bites – left the troubled agency yesterday, justifying her expenses and licking her wounds over the spending scandal.
"I billed what the policy told me I could do," Donna Strating told the Star, noting she often worked from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m."

$2700 a day and yet she thinks the people of Ontario should also be on the hook for her Timmies? This might even top David Dingwall expensing a pack of gum. What this does is show the glaring lack of respect the Ontario Liberal government has shown the people of the province. We have learned that the now disgraced head of e-Health, who received a $140,000 bonus after a few months on the job, is now receiving in excess of $300,000 in severance to go away. The $140,000 bonus was supposedly fair as she would have received the same bonus had she stayed at her previous job. Problem is that was a bold-faced lie. The former employer has stated she would have only received a bonus of $40,000. And it's not just limited to the minister. A report in The Star has now drawn the Premier's office into the mix:

"Key members of Dalton McGuinty's inner circle are surfacing in the eHealth Ontario spending scandal, documents obtained by the Star show.
Premier Dalton McGuinty's former health adviser was paid $327 an hour by eHealth to, among other tasks, correspond with McGuinty's former chief of staff in his new capacity at a polling firm on "eHealth Ontario priorities," billing records demonstrate.
Karli Farrow was paid $10,646 for 32.5 hours of eHealth work as a Courtyard Group consultant over a period of three weeks in January.
Farrow, a one-time chief of staff to former health minister George Smitherman, had previously served as McGuinty's health policy adviser and was an architect of the Liberals' health-care platform for the 2003 election. She has worked with McGuinty periodically since 2000, including a stint as his director of policy and research, beginning in 2004. She left Smitherman's office in 2007."

We've heard reports of a consultant charging thousands for reading the newspaper. Apparently nobody in the Premier's office is educated enough to read a newspaper to glean information from it. All in all it appears taxpayers are on the hook for gold-plated severance packages, all to rid ourselves of money sucking leaches who obviously had no regard for our tax dollars, and even worse the fact they tried to hide it as saying they would improve our health care.

As this story unfolds over the next few days and months, I'm sure we will be hearing more horror stories about wasted money, incompetence, cronyism, and all that is wrong with politics, the Premier will be assuring us the necessary changes will be made to prevent this from happening again.

All that's left to be determined, is if we were screwed legally, or illegally, because scam sure seems like the appropriate word when discussing e-Health.


maryT said...

You should check out the consultants problems she had in AB. We were glad to see her go, and wished Ont good luck.

Anonymous said...

They are Liberals.

They are entitled to their entitlements.

That's just a fact.

We should be thankful they only hopped on the gravy train for just a short while

Joanne (True Blue) said...

We should be thankful they only hopped on the gravy train for just a short while

Short while? It's already way too long! I want my province back.