tom stewart

Ontario hospital CEO who stepped down for vacationing now eligible for $1M payout

Dr. Tom Stewart, the former CEO of multiple Southern Ontario hospitals and member of the province's COVID-19 advisory panel, is now allegedly eligible for a massive payout for stepping down from his role amid a vacation scandal.

Stewart, like a number of other politicians and health officials, was recently found to have embarked on non-essential travel to a beachy locale over the winter holidays in a time when all levels of government continued to urge residents that the middle of a pandemic is not the time to take a trip.

After he resigned from his roles on numerous health panels and as CEO of both St. Joseph's Health System and Niagara Health, it seems that Stewart — also a critical care physician — can receive a total of 24 months of pay despite the fiasco, which amounts to $1 million, as per his contract. 

The pay will be doled out over the course of the two years, and will cease whenever Stewart is hired on in a comparable position — if anyone will take him given the recent headlines he's made.

He only just returned from his second home in the Dominican Republic on Jan. 5 after flying there with family on Dec. 18, a trip that was approved by the St. Joe's board, though it is unclear if they knew where, exactly, he was going.

The glut of flights coming into the country is one of the things that Premier Doug Ford has blamed for high case counts in the province as he and his team consider bringing in even tougher lockdown measures.

Stewart joins the likes of former London, Ontario hospital CEO Paul Woods, former Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips, and dozens of other such Canadian figures who have been busted taking unnecessary vacations while the public is urged to stay home and prohibited from even visiting friends and familyshopping at "non-essential" stores and countless other normal life activities.

Still, with a Canada-U.S. border closure that only seems to be one-way and airport agents still not verifying if traveler's trips are indeed essential, residents of all types have continued to escape lockdown by booking flights to parts of the world where health and safety measures are more lax — and it's now considered one of the more disgraceful things one can do in the eyes of the ever-discerning public.

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