The Sunshine List is an annual event in Ontario when we find out who in the previous year made the big bucks. It lists the people who are paid by the public and made over $100,000 per year. And the list keeps getting longer every year.
What really aggrieves me about the list that was just released is that the chief executive at my local hospital was the high-flying earner in Barrie in 2021. Her name is Janice Skot and it says she was paid $465,618.93 as president and CEO of Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre. Now I know what happened to the hospital’s food budget. I spent an entire month in that hospital during the pandemic and lost 25 pounds. The food was abominable.
And it was not because I was sick. I had shattered my ankle and ended up with more stainless steel in one leg than bone. When they took me off the painkillers, I realized the food was awful. We made a deal towards the end of my stay: they wanted to get rid of their loudest complainer and I wanted out.
This was a hospital that had always got good marks for its kitchens. It even had an extensive food court for staff and visitors. During the pandemic, they shut down their own kitchens, closed the food court and made a catering deal at the lowest possible price. At least the hard-working staff could bring their own food from home. I had to survive on Jell-o.
The interesting part of this was that lots of Royal Victoria doctors and staff made the sunshine list but the top earners were the CEO, followed by executive vice-president Nancy Savage at a reported $354,544.06 and another executive vice-president Bentley Peterson at a reported $301,200.04. That is more than a million dollars that might have been better spent looking after patients.
What is particular galling about this is that the hospital is a top-of-the-list charity for Barrie region citizens and some 800 volunteers toil for free (during non-covid times) to help look after patients and to keep the hospital running.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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