Government & policy
BC trio plead not guilty to eHealth
VICTORIA – Ron
Danderfer (pictured), a former B.C. assistant deputy health minister,
entered a plea of not guilty last week in connection with a government
eHealth spending scandal.
Danderfer, who did not appear in a Victoria courtroom, entered his plea
through his lawyer, Mayland McKimm. As well, Jonathan Burns, a physician
and eHealth entrepreneur, and James Taylor, a former senior manager at
the Fraser Health Authority, also pleaded not guilty through their
A trial was tentatively set for Oct. 31, 2011; it is expected to last
six weeks. The three men face 16 charges of fraud and breach of trust
relating to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of contracts on the
provincial government’s eHealth electronic records project.
Danderfer oversaw the creation of the $222-million eHealth initiative
five years ago. The project, which is still in development, is supposed
to digitize and share health records, prescriptions and test results
Danderfer is facing charges that he allegedly accepted rewards from Dr.
Burns, including the use of a Kelowna condo, employment for his wife and
post-retirement income, in exchange for government contracts and
business for Burns and his telemedicine company.
Danderfer and his wife, who was also a senior government official in the
Ministry of Children and Family Development, were suspended from their
government jobs in 2007 and retired that year.
Dr. Burns and Taylor face charges of fraud and breach of trust relating
to government contracts and work at the Fraser Health Authority. The
three men were charged in March after a two-year investigation by
special prosecutor John Waddell, a Victoria lawyer.
Posted August 12, 2010