Dr. Bonnie Henry is officially employed by the Provincial Health Services Authority and seconded to the B.C. Ministry of Health, according to her contract obtained by theBreaker.news.
Released under the freedom of information law, Henry’s provincial health officer agreement commenced Feb. 1, 2018 and was subject to cabinet approval.
PHSA, which includes the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, pays Henry’s salary and benefits and the Ministry reimburses for expenses. The contract called for a gross annual salary of $301,078 plus a $12,000 payment for the Ministry’s public health on-call rate, up to $5,000 to pay for professional membership and licensing fees, and medical, dental, insurance and pension benefits.
The contract is capped at $384,316. For the year ended March 31, 2021, the PHSA sunshine list shows Henry received $342,292 plus $9,758 expenses.
Henry remains, at all times, an employee of PHSA “and not be a servant or employee of the province.” She is required to provide advice in an independent manner and liaise with the Deputy Minister while bound by the terms and conditions of the public service standards of conduct and oath of employment.
Henry swore to put the interests of the public and public service above personal interest, including avoiding all conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived, and to serve the government impartially, honestly and ethically, “in a manner that maintains and enhances the public’s trust and confidence in the public service and does not bring it into disrepute.”
The contract raises questions about how Henry was allowed to co-author an autobiographical book about working as B.C.’s PHO during the first wave of the pandemic. After a late 2020 FOI request, Henry unilaterally blocked release of records about the March 2021-published “Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe” when she claimed she wrote the book as a “private citizen.”
The contract states all working papers, reports, documents, computer materials and equipment provided by the province to the secondee are exclusive property of the province, and that she “waives in favour of the province” all moral rights, as provided for in copyright law.
The contract also contains an indemnity clause to pay Henry’s legal bills, a confidentiality clause and a 90-day termination clause with a severance provision, unless the firing is for just cause.
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