Former Alberta health board chair claimed $455910 in six years

Former Capital Health board chair Neil Wilkinson claimed over $450,000 in honoraria and other expenses over a six-year period with the health authority between 2002 and 2008.

Expense records released by Alberta Health Services on Monday, following freedom of information requests from several media outlets, show the former health executive and recently retired Alberta ethics commissioner charged $455,910 in honoraria to the health authority from April 1, 2002, to May 23, 2008. It is not known what work was accomplished for the payments.

The documents show that in 2005, Wilkinson charged taxpayers $5,000 for an auction package from the University Hospital Foundation charity and hundreds more in expenses for golf tournaments and fundraisers hosted by Progressive Conservative politicians.

In a statement, Wilkinson said none of the expenses were for personal benefit and all of them were approved by officials within Capital Health, which was merged into Alberta Health Services in 2008.

“My expenses show thousands of dollars that were previously accounted for and were duplicated in other Capital Health expense releases. Some of these expenses were not mine at all but were, in fact, expenses of the authority,” said Wilkinson.

“The activities and hard work these expenses represented involved many volunteer hours spent away from other activities, family and friends.”

Alberta Health Services says the expenses incurred by Wilkinson “would be completely unacceptable under current Alberta Health Services’ policies and practices regarding executive expenses.”

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