Queen’s Park, ON – PC Finance Critic, Vic Fedeli was in the legislature today questioning the premier on the developing bailout scandal between mortgage lender Home Capital and the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP).
“To many, this $2 billion bailout sounds like ‘I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine,’” said Fedeli. “Does anyone think this pass the smell test, even for this government, under five OPP investigations?” continued Fedeli.
Fedeli asked the premier, “is it right that a hospital CEO, who should be focused on health care, be embroiled in a conflict for nothing other than personal gain?”
“Where was the government in preventing this, and who was asleep at the switch?” added Fedeli.
Home Capital, a non-bank mortgage lender currently under investigation by the Ontario Securities Commission, has been given a $2-billion bailout from the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan.
Home Capital, one of the largest non-bank mortgage lenders in Ontario, received the bailout late last week after its shares fell 65%. Of note is the fact that HOOPP’s CEO Jim Keohane served on the Board of Home Capital, and Home Capital’s Chair, Kevin Smith served on the Board of HOOPP. Smith is also the CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Centre, in Hamilton.
As Chair of Home Capital Kevin Smith earns $357,000 a year, and has some $1.5 million in stock, but that’s just his part-time job. As CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Centre, he earns and additional $720,000.
Richard Leblanc, York University’s associate Professor of law, governance and ethics says being on both these Boards is “a clear conflict.”