TORONTO – David Rounthwaite (pictured), who has been eHealth Ontario’s general counsel for four years, has been appointed CEO by the agency’s board of directors after interim CEO Ray Hession stepped aside to take care of his ill wife. Rounthwaite is the brother-in-law of Premier Kathleen Wynne’s spouse, Jane Routhwaite.
Rounthwaite, an experienced Bay Street lawyer, is taking the eHealth job while an executive search firm continues looking for a full-time CEO to replace former head Greg Reed, who departed last June.
Although Reed earned $325,000 a year, Rounthwaite is staying at his salary of $210,000, said Health Minister Deb Matthews, who told reporters she has known about the appointment for six weeks.
“He is taking on this responsibility … but he’s not receiving a penny more. I was pleased there was no added remuneration … that would raise flags,” she added.
“If you’re arguing that any relative of any member in government ought not work in the broader public sector I just can’t agree with that. He’s a very well respected lawyer.”
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the appointment brings more attention to eHealth and its troubled past, which includes a spending scandal that saw consultants paid up to $3,000 a day, including expenses for tea and cookies.
Wynne’s minority Liberal administration, under daily attack for deleted emails in the $1.1 billion scandal over cancelled gas plants, is about to bring in a budget requiring NDP support to avoid a spring election.