Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Former Ornge CEO Chris Mazza testifies before a legislative committee July 18, 2012 in Toronto.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

The $1.4-million in annual compensation paid to former Ornge chief executive officer Chris Mazza included unauthorized payments made without supporting invoices, the air ambulance service's former chairman alleges.

Dr. Mazza also demanded that company executives give him a vacation payout, which was not authorized by the board of directors, and insisted that he be paid for medical services he was no longer providing.

The allegations are in a memo written by former Ornge chairman Rainer Beltzner and produced by Liberal MPP David Zimmer at an all-party legislative committee hearing on Wednesday. The memo sharply contradicts the testimony of Dr. Mazza, who described himself as a visionary who left operational decisions – including his pay – to others. Dr. Mazza told the committee the board approved his annual compensation.

Story continues below advertisement

But the payments outlined in the memo and described by Mr. Beltzner as "most disturbing," indicate that the board was in the dark about many components of Dr. Mazza's compensation that company executives were paying him over and above his base salary of $500,000 and bonus pay. The board arrived at the bonus pay based on Dr. Mazza's own evaluation of his performance, Mr. Beltzner said.

The compensation, as well as a $500,000 housing loan made to Dr. Mazza, dominated much of the three hours Mr. Beltzner was questioned. It was his second appearance at the committee, which is looking into problems at Ornge.

Mr. Beltzner and Dr. Mazza left Ornge earlier this year after the government cleaned house and called in forensic auditors to probe for-profit entities the publicly funded service created.

Mr. Beltzner wrote the memo to the director of the Ministry of Finance's internal audit division on Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011, shortly after The Toronto Star reported Dr. Mazza's salary.

"At this point, I'm hearing from management that they knew of things that were potentially inappropriate, which is disturbing," Mr. Beltzner testified.

But Mr. Beltzner's own stewardship of an entity responsible for all aspects of the province's air ambulance service also came under scrutiny. Mr. Zimmer suggested the note to the finance official was a "cover my butt" memo. Progressive Conservative MPP Frank Klees said Dr. Mazza has done very well "and obviously he had an incredibly co-operative board."

In the memo, Mr. Beltzner says Dr. Mazza's total compensation includes $400,000 for medical services relating to an agreement several years earlier. The agreement was renewed every year without further review or approval, the memo says. The payment was made without supporting invoices.

Story continues below advertisement

When questioned by other executives about this, the memo says, "Dr. Mazza apparently continued to insist that he be paid and was quite 'forceful' about that."

The memo goes on to say that Mr. Beltzner learned only the previous morning that Ornge was paying a doctor at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital at the "insistence" of Dr. Mazza for services that were not needed and that had not been delivered.

"Clearly, this may only be the tip of the iceberg so to speak," the memo says.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies