Mike Harris Inducted into the Order of Ontario: What He Did to Health Care (& how much $ he made)
From the Ontario Health Coalition
On October 24 Doug Ford joined Lt. Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell in officially inducting the 2020 members into the Order of Ontario including former Conservative premiers Ernie Eves & Mike Harris.
What they did and how much they made
The Mike Harris government (Ernie Eves was his finance minister) launched the Health Services Restructuring Commission that ordered the closure of 43 hospitals.
-11,400 hospital beds were cut.
-1 in 3 of Ontario’s acute care & chronic care hospital beds were closed
The restructuring commission’s commissioners included Shelly Jamieson who was the executive director of the for-profit Long-Term Care (#LTC lobby association and went back to reap the rewards of the closure of our chronic care beds as president of Extendicare after the Commission ended.
Not only did they close thousands of public chronic care hospital beds, Harris & Eves created 20,000 new long-term care beds. For the first time in Canadian history, using public money they paid for-profits to build beds that they would run for their own profit.
They privatized the majority of those beds for decades.
Ernie Eves left politics for a brief period after being Finance Minister and before returning and becoming Premier. A month after he left office he joined the board of the for-profit LTC chain CPL REIT (which later became Revera).
Mike Harris became chair of Chartwell after leaving office, also reaping the rewards of his closure of thousands of chronic care hospital beds, their replacement with #LTC beds and his privatization of those #LTC beds.
It has been very lucrative for our former premier.
According to the Globe and Mail:
A review of Chartwell’s proxy circulars shows that over those 18 years, Chartwell has paid Mike Harris: $3.5-million for his services, the bulk of it in Chartwell stock. (Averaging $200,000/yr for what is supposed to be a part-time job)
Those compensation numbers do not include dividends on Mike Harris’ shares. Eg. while Chartwell reported his board compensation as $229,500 in its proxy circular in 2019, stock-ownership filings with regulators show Chartwell gave Mr. Harris shares worth $405,000 that year.
All told, Mike Harris’ holdings, which include shares purchased on the open market, are worth roughly $ 6 million today. [In 2021.]
On several occasions from 2003-14, Mr. Harris received a low-interest loan to purchase a total of roughly $600,000 in shares.
Also, from 2010 – 2019 Chartwell directors who chose to get their directors’ fees paid in stock, rather than cash, got a company match – effectively doubling their pay. That meant that in each year of the plan, Mr. Harris received about $230,000 in annual compensation.
Mike Harris also privatized the majority of Ontario’s home care. In 2012 he and his wife started a for-profit home care company Nurse Next Door.
In August, Harris came out in support of Doug Ford’s plans to privatize our public hospitals.
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