Income Inequality

VIHA CEO Howard Waldner in the news again

After Paul Krugman wrote in the New York Times about the affluent exercising self-interest to make gains over the rest of us, Pamela Fayerman published a local illustration in the Times Colonist.

Med school admissions contentious issue at UBC discusses elites requesting special treatment for friends and family seeking admission to the School of Medicine. An internal memo written by former admissions director Denis Hughes states that prominent people were seeking special treatment and entry rule waivers. According to Fayerman:

Hughes said he resigned, in part, because of alleged preferential treatment given to a few applicants whose well-connected parents intervened on their behalf during the applications process.

In another case, the parent was Howard Waldner, CEO of the Vancouver Island Health Authority. Waldner, who is travelling in Australia for a month, could not be reached for comment.

But medical school dean Stuart confirmed Waldner made calls to UBC and that the Waldner family also asked Ida Chong, Liberal MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, to advocate on the family’s behalf.

Stuart said the issue in that case was that the applicant did not meet B.C. residency requirements and “despite pressure from the applicant’s father [Waldner], the appeal [to apply as a B.C. resident] was denied.”

I’ve written here before about Howard Waldner. He previously demonstrated a belief that friends should care for friends when he ignored VIHA hiring rules and awarded a lucrative contract without competition to the husband of one of Premier Christy Clark’s top advisers. The following was published at In-Sights in November:

Net-zero is OK for teachers, regular healthcare providers and the remaining public sector workers but not for important friends who do favours for Premier Photo Op. For example, and this is but one of course, check out Howard Waldner’s tough road. This guy, CEO of the Vancouver Island Health Authority, decided after the position of in-house flack sat empty for 8-months, there was an urgent and secret need (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) to fill it with an associate of the Premier:

Waldner, by the way has enjoyed a 42% salary increase over the past five years, moving his salary before expense from $312,000 to $442,000. During that time, his annual expenses have ranged from $29,683 to $51,000. My, those business lunches are pricey!

See also: From The ‘Rules Don’t Apply to Us Department’

3 replies »

  1. Someone should look into how much the Vancouver Island Health Authority (i.e. the taxpayer) spends on lawyers and legal settlements.

    As a volunteer advocate for patients and families in the health care system, I am aware that multiple cases of wrong-doing have been suppressed by VIHA through legal means. VIHA either pays the complainant a sum of money on condition that no action be taken against VIHA in the courts or through the media, or they launch legal action against people who have been wronged. As a result, the public remains in the dark about these many, many serious issues and incidents, and no one is held accountable.

    … [Edited by N.F. for concern about unverified statements]


  2. As a parent of 2 terminally ill adult children I know all too well the mess that VIHA is. I have lodged 4 formal complaints thru VIHA channels only to have them do nothing and blame my children's illness for the problems. Most recently we've been searching for supported medical housing for my 25 yr old son (who had a degenerative illness). I received 5 reminder calls to attend a mtg for a possible placement. We were excited! We found ourselves at a housing centre for “wet housing” (active drug addicts!)I was told that we were the 3rd client that week she had seen sent by VIHA that had serious health issues !!!!


  3. When people like Waldner ask their local MLA or MP to represent them, they are doing what anyone has the right to do. That is why those political posts are there, no represent us and each one of us has the right to call upon them to do so.
    However if the support they are asking for is to get their family past the cue on government funded educationsl programs it is wrong and should not have happened. There lies the act of arrogance we, unfortunatley, have learned to sit back and accept.
    But it isn't just Waldner who erred here. What was Chong's answer? I hope she told him that she has no authority to help people jump cues no matter who they are.
    When it comes to expenses I can only compare Waldner's to Wallin's. In a job like Waldner's it is not that out of line. Let's hope he doesn't become a Senator.


Leave a reply but be on topic and civil.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s