Liberals critical of hefty severance paid to departing health executive

Alberta’s Liberals are dredging up details of a severance package for a senior health care executive in an attempt to shame the provincial government’s decision to cut health-care jobs.

EDMONTON — Alberta’s Liberals are dredging up details of a severance package for a senior health care executive in an attempt to shame the provincial government’s decision to cut health-care jobs.

Finance critic Hugh MacDonald says Paddy Meade got $1.3 million in severance, even though she worked only eight months of a three-year-contract with the health superboard.

He’s calling on Health Minister Ron Liepert to explain the hefty severance, as well as a $257,000 bonus paid to Meade.

MacDonald says this hefty severance package is especially troubling in light of recent efforts to reduce the health-care workforce through buyouts, early retirement and a hiring freeze.

The veteran opposition member is also questioning how Meade could have earned a $257,000 bonus after less than one year on the job.

Meade was a deputy minister of health before moving to the health superboard, which is now struggling to eliminate a deficit of more than $1 billion.