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Ornge business model was not that unusual: Sapsford

Aug. 1, 2012, Toronto - A former top bureaucrat in the health ministry says it's not unusual for non-profit agencies funded by the government to set up for-profit companies.


August 1, 2012
By The Canadian Press

Ron Sapsford, who left the health ministry in 2009, says Ontario
hospitals also set up for-profit subsidiaries to generate revenue.

But he says taxpayer dollars are not supposed to flow to the for-profit businesses.

Sapsford made the comments before a legislative committee that's looking into Ornge, Ontario's troubled air ambulance service.

The publicly-funded organization set up a complex web of for-profit
companies and the committee has heard that public money likely flowed to
those companies.

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While there were warning signs that Ornge was headed in the wrong
direction, Sapsford says he doesn't know why the minister wasn't made
aware of them.

Health Minister Deb Matthews says she didn't know that anything was wrong at Ornge until late last year.

The committee has heard that for years, whistleblowers, opposition
parties and even bureaucrats raised red flags that trouble was brewing
at Ornge, which is now under a criminal probe for financial
irregularities.