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Travis Toews says he didn’t approve Hinshaw’s outrageous bonus

Thomas Lambert

August 8, 2022

UCP leadership candidate Travis Toews says he didn’t approve Chief Medical Officer Deena Hinshaw’s outrageous bonus in 2021 while he was serving as finance minister.

Travis Toews says he didn't approve Hinshaw's bonus
Travis Toews says he didn’t approve Hinshaw’s bonus

“I did not authorize or approve this payment. This bonus was paid out by the public service without ministerial sign-off,” wrote Toews in a tweet. “Albertans expect their tax dollars to be spent with the greatest oversight. I have promised to change the rules to ensure this does not happen again.”

He further stated that as Premier, there would be “No bonuses without a minister’s signature.”

NDP leader Rachel Notley subsequently took it upon herself to criticize the UCP and Toews in particular, saying she doesn’t believe he was unaware of the payment — though she refused to comment on whether Hinshaw deserved the bonus, having been a big cheerleader of Hinshaw’s COVID restrictions since day one.

As previously reported by The Counter Signal, Hinshaw received $227,911 in “cash benefits,” nearly as much as her base salary of $363,634, over the course of 2021. This bonus brings Hinshaw’s total annual earnings to over half a million at $591,545, putting her far up the ladder of the government’s sunshine list and breaking all records for cash payouts to a provincial civil servant since the list was publicized.

“The scale of the response to this unprecedented public health emergency required an extraordinary amount of additional work from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer, the Vaccine Taskforce, the Pandemic Response Team and others, which is reflected in the recent disclosure,” rationalized Ministry of Health spokesperson Mark Feldbusch in an email.

Still, the likewise unprecedented bonus has sparked more than a little outrage, with all three UCP leadership frontrunners, Travis Toews, Danielle Smith, and Brian Jean, agreeing that the bonus was a “slap in the face” to those in Alberta.

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