Ontario's cash-for-access scandal and big pharma

Michael Butler
4 years ago


Today more news broke on the cash-for-access scandal surrounding the Ontario Liberal Party.  In the first three years of Premier Wynne’s mandate there were more than 150 cash-for-access fundraisers held by the party (this system has nearly tripled in size during the party’s 13 years in power).  These events generally had tickets priced at between $5,000 and $10,000 a piece for exclusive access to the government’s most important MPs.

While the Ontario Liberal Party has refused to disclose who bought tickets to these events, a Globe and Mail investigation has, “assembled likely guest lists for most of the fundraisers by matching ticket prices of events with separate donor lists filed with Elections Ontario...The analysis reveals that attendees included construction firms with lucrative government infrastructure contracts, electricity companies with an interest in seeing the government continue outsourcing much of the province’s power generation, pharmaceutical corporations that depend on the province to list their drugs for coverage and the banks that made nearly $60-million off the privatization of Hydro One.”

Although Premier Wynne had promised in march to reform campaign finance rules, The Globe reports, “legislation, unveiled last month, will allow cash-for-access to continue. It has no conflict-of-interest provisions to ban ministers from fundraising among stakeholders, nor does it require politicians to disclose when they are lobbied.”

The Globe also reports that, “Pharmaceutical and other health-care companies show contributions consistent with a $10,000-a-ticket fundraiser for nine people on Oct. 26, 2015, a $9,975-per-person evening reception for seven guests on Aug. 24, 2015, and two $5,000-per-person gatherings with then-health minister Deb Matthews in a single week in March, 2014.”

The list of health care related groups or individuals paying thousands of dollars for a ticket include pharmaceutical companies, private long term care companies, private health services companies and many more.  Once again, it is apparent that those trying to privatize medicare or increase drug costs are actively buying influence from the government.  More than ever, we need a new robust Health Accord with a strong Canadian Health Act to protect against further two-tiered privatization and a universal pharmacare plan with a national formulary so new drugs are approved by evidence (not big pharma influence).  The corporate barbarians are not at the gates, they are at the high price soirees sipping champagne with the Ontario government.

Below is a partial list assembled by the globe of the coporate health groups who buy the ear of the government.

"Evening Event

Oct. 26, 2015

Ticket price: $10,000

Donation amount to Liberals after covering cost of the event: $9,760

 

Spectrum Health Care

Evening Reception

Aug. 24, 2015

Ticket price: $9,975

Donation amount to Liberals after covering cost of the event: $9,725

Number of tickets sold: 7

Contributors with matching donations:

Actavis Pharma Company

Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association

Pharmascience Inc.

Teva Canada Ltd.

Evening with Charles Sousa and Bob Chiarelli*

Dec. 7, 2015

Ticket price: $7,500

Donation amount to Liberals after covering cost of the event: $7,225

Contributors with matching donations:

 

Lifelabs Inc

Evening Reception**

Dec. 16, 2015

Ticket price: $5,000

Donation amount to Liberals after covering cost of the event: $4,770

Number of tickets sold: 5

Contributors with matching donations:

 

Extendicare (Canada) Inc.

Evening Event

Dec. 14, 2015

Ticket price: $5,000

Donation amount to Liberals after covering cost of the event: $4,755

Number of tickets sold: 11

Contributors with matching donations:

 

Pharmasave Drugs Ontario Ltd.

Evening event

April 27, 2015

Ticket price: $5,000

Donation amount to Liberals after covering cost of the event: $4,775

Number of tickets sold: 15

Contributors with matching donations:

Susanne Boyce

Dr. Marjorie E. Dixon Medicine Professional Corporation (First Steps Fertility)

Keith Jarvi Medicine Professional Corporation

Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario

Event with Deb Matthews

March 27, 2014

Ticket price: $5,000

Donation amount to Liberals after covering cost of the event: $4,790

Number of tickets sold: 12

Contributors with matching donations:

 

Remedy Drug Store Company Inc.

Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores CACDS

 

Evening with Deb Matthews**

March 24, 2014

Ticket price: $5,000

Donation amount to Liberals after covering cost of the event: $4,780

Number of tickets sold: 11

Contributors with matching donations:

Algonquin Power Services Canada Inc.

DCL Healthcare Properties Inc.

Peninsula Eye Associates Inc.

Event with Bob Chiarelli**

Feb. 26, 2014

Ticket price: $5,000

Donation amount to Liberals after covering cost of the event: $4,780

Number of tickets sold: 19

Contributors with matching donations:

Algonquin Power Services Canada Inc.

DCL Healthcare Properties Inc.

Peninsula Eye Associates Inc.

Evening with Hon. Dr. Eric Hoskins

Nov. 17, 2014

Ticket price: $3,750

Donation amount to Liberals after covering cost of the event: $3,550

Number of tickets sold: 6

Contributors with matching donations:

 

Santis Health Inc.

Evening with Eric Hoskins

Dec. 3, 2014

Ticket price: $2,500

Donation amount to Liberals after covering cost of the event: $2,335

Number of tickets sold: 11

Contributors with matching donations:

 

MedCan Health Management Inc.

Event

Oct. 8, 2013

Ticket price: $2,500

Donation amount to Liberals after covering cost of the event: $2,375

Number of tickets sold: 7

Contributors with matching donations

 

Keith Jarvi Medicine Professional Corp.

Evening with Deb Matthews**

June 5, 2014

Ticket price: $1,500

Donation amount to Liberals after covering cost of the event: $1,450 or $1,315 (event is listed twice with different donation amounts)

Number of tickets sold: 36

Contributors with matching donations:

 

Abbvie Corp.

Medical Devices Inc. o/a Medec

Therapure Biopharma Inc.

Sachin Aggarwal

Astrazeneca Canada Inc.

Billy Cheung

Closing the Gap Healthcare Group Inc.

Janine Hopkins

Pfizer Canada Inc.

Sarah Robinson

Western Fair Association Inc.

Alcon Canada Inc.

Evening with Deb Matthews

March 25, 2014

Ticket price: $1,500

Donation amount to Liberals after covering cost of the event: $1,450

Number of tickets sold: 26

Contributors with matching donations:

Abbvie Corp.

Kealey & Associates Inc.

Medical Devices Inc. o/a Medec

M-Health Solutions Inc.

Ontario BioScience Industry Organization OBIO

Therapure Biopharma Inc.

Astrazeneca Canada Inc.

Billy Cheung

Pfizer Canada Inc.

Western Fair Association Inc.

Evening Event**

Sept. 22, 2015

Ticket price: $1,000

Donation amount to Liberals after covering cost of the event: $950

Number of tickets sold: 42

Contributors with matching donations:

Canadian Association of Physician Assistants CAPA

Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine

Medical Laboratories of Windsor Ltd.

Anthony Milonas

Brendan Mullen

Mylan Pharmaceuticals ULC

Nurse Practitioners Association of Ontario NPAO

Ontario Society of Chiropodists Inc.

Pharmasave Drugs Ontario Ltd.

Duncan Scott

The Coalition of Ontario Psychiatrists

Reception**

June 3, 2015

Ticket price: $1,000

Donation amount to Liberals after covering cost of the event: $960

Number of tickets sold: 23

Contributors with matching donations:

Steven Brown

Focus Physiotherapy (Bolton) Inc.

Focus Physiotherapy (Brampton) Inc.

Focus Physiotherapy Inc.

Kings Rehab Health Services Inc.

Movewell Inc.

Novo Peak Health Inc.

Queensway Physiotherapy Centre Inc.

York Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Centre Inc.

1597203 Ontario Ltd o/a Willowdale Physiotherapy Clinic

3719570 Canada Inc. Scarborough North Physiotherapy Clinic Inc.

Patrick Gagnon

Physiotherapy One Orthopaedic & Sports Injury Clinic Inc.

Upper Ottawa Inc.

 

Evening Event**

June 3, 2015

Ticket price: $1,000

Donation amount to Liberals after covering cost of the event: $935

Number of tickets sold: 27

Contributors with matching donations:

IC Funding Financial Corp.

Peter Schlegel

Caressant Care Nursing & Retirement Homes Ltd.

Chartwell Master Care Corp.

Extendicare (Canada) Inc.

Hilltop Manor Nursing Home Ltd.

Jarlette Ltd. o/a Jarlette Health Services

Southbridge Capital Inc.

 

Event with Eric Hoskins

Nov. 27, 2014

Ticket price: $1,000

Donation amount to Liberals after covering cost of the event: $955

Number of tickets sold: 20

Contributors with matching donations:

AC Nursing & Health Services Inc.

Home Instead Inc.

National Research Corp. Canada

Nursing & Homemakers Inc. (NHI)

Policy Concepts Inc.

Revera Health Services Inc.

Spectrum Health Care Ltd.

Evening with Reza Moridi

May 5, 2014

Ticket price: $1,000

Donation amount to Liberals after covering cost of the event: $935

Number of tickets sold: 10

Contributors with matching donations:

Eli Lilly Canada Inc.

Evening with Deb Matthews

Jan. 27, 2014

Ticket price: $1,000

Donation amount to Liberals after covering cost of the event: $960

Number of tickets sold: 26

Contributors with matching donations:

859530 Ontario Inc. o/a Jarlette Health Services

Chartwell Master Care Corp.

William C. Dillane

Diversicare Canada Management Services Co. Inc.

Leisureworld Senior Care Corp.

Medical Pharmacies Group Ltd.

Medisystem Pharmacy Ltd.

Omni Health Care Ltd.

Bill O’Neill

Christine Ozimek

Revera Long Term Care Inc.

Steves & Rozema Group Div of Steeves & Rozema Enterprises Ltd.

Greater Toronto Hotel Association (GTHA)

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