Wings Magazine

Mazza, Renzella formally removed at Ornge

Feb. 3, 2012, Toronto - Two top officials have been formally removed from their positions at Ontario's air ambulance service.

February 3, 2012  By The Canadian Press

A statement from Ornge says Chris Mazza, president and CEO, and Maria Renzella, the chief operating officer, are no longer officers of the troubled corporation.

Mazza went on indefinite medical leave in December shortly after his $1.4-million salary was made public.

The government called in auditors to investigate a number of other companies set up by Ornge, which receives $150 million a year in provincial funding.

The entire board of directors of the air ambulance service has been replaced, and Ornge has been ordered to shut down its other for-profit companies.


The company statement says no severance payments were offered to Renzella and Mazza, who was paid more by Ontario taxpayers than any other public sector worker last year.

However, the New Democrats pointed out the Ornge statement does not say severance wasn't paid to Mazza by one of the company's many subsidiaries.

Duff & Phelps was appointed by the court as trustee in bankruptcy Thursday for Ornge Global GP Inc., and Ornge Global Holdings LP, the for-profit arm of the air ambulance service.

"This results, by operation of law, in the immediate termination of the remaining employees of the bankrupt Global entities," said the statement from Ornge.

"The bankruptcy does not affect the not-for-profit Ornge or any of its wholly owned subsidiaries including Ornge Global Corporate Services Inc., and Ornge Global Air Inc."

Last week, Ian Delaney, chairman of Sherritt International Corp., was appointed as chairman of the new Ornge board on the recommendation of the Liberal government.

Other new members include former NDP attorney general Charles Harnick of Counsel Public Affairs, Patricia Lang, former president of Confederation College and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre CEO and president Barry McLellan.

The new board was appointed one day after Ornge axed 18 middle managers and shut down its charity organization, J-Smarts, which educates children about cottage country safety.

Health Minister Deb Matthews cleaned house at Ornge in December after months of controversy surrounding its questionable business practices, posh headquarters and high executive salaries.

The Health Ministry's emergency health services branch is also investigating 13 incidents related to air ambulance transports, three of which involved deaths of patients.


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