Paire to receive $163,000 severance from CHUM

Paire to receive $163,000 severance from CHUM
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Christian Paire — right, examining a model of the new CHUM in 2011 with Jean Charest and former health minister Yves Bolduc — will officially cease his functions as CHUM CEO on Dec. 17.

Photograph by: Pierre Obendrauf , The Gazette

MONTREAL - Christian Paire will receive a golden handshake worth more than $163,000 — courtesy of Quebec taxpayers — following his sacking as chief executive officer of the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal.

The CHUM’s board of directors reached a severance agreement with Paire on Tuesday night, one week after the board suspended him with pay amid allegations of extensive mismanagement and spending irregularities at the hospital network.

Paire, who was appointed CEO of the CHUM in 2009, will officially cease his functions as of Tuesday, Dec. 17. He will be replaced on an interim basis by Michel Fontaine, a deputy minister of health.

What’s more, Dr. Michel Baron, the former dean of medicine at the Université de Sherbrooke who was tasked last year with investigating mismanagement at the McGill University Health Centre, was appointed Wednesday as an overseer of the CHUM. Baron’s mandate will last 180 days.

CHUM officials refused to release details of Paire’s severance package, saying it’s confidential. However, in Quebec City, Health Minister Réjean Hébert did reveal that Paire will receive eight months of salary, representing two months each for his four years of service — minus the $70,000 that Quebec’s auditor general said was over Treasury Board limits.

Since Paire’s annual salary was $350,000, the gross severance amount would work out to $233,333. Once $70,000 is deducted, the net amount would be approximately $163,000.

“It’s better to have a deal than to go to court,” Hébert said. “I am comfortable with the agreement.”

Paire also received a second annual salary of $80,000 from the U de M for what the university has described as teaching. However, Paire filed a lawsuit against the university after it stopped paying him his teaching salary in 2011.

Irène Marcheterre, a CHUM spokesperson, said the severance deal does not involve Paire’s university salary.

Paire, a self-described “epicurean” known for his flamboyant tastes, had previously managed the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Rouen, the eighth-largest teaching hospital in France, with a staff of 8,000.

Paire was appointed to the CHUM in the hope that he would revive its stalled superhospital project, but many staff members quickly grew disenchanted with his aloof management style. In November, auditor general Michel Samson found that CHUM managers were overpaid by $750,000 during his tenure, among other irregularities.

Hébert said he hopes the management and governance of the CHUM — which represents Hôtel-Dieu, Notre-Dame and St-Luc hospitals — will be appropriate for a teaching medical network of its size.

“We’ve done the same process with the McGill University Health Centre — with success, I must say,” he said.

“The McGill University Health Centre is getting on the right track now in its management, in its governance and in its budget, so we expect we are going to see the same success with the CHUM.”
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