"Rise in the presence of the aged, and show respect for the elderly."



Valleyview Care Centre owners pocket millions at taxpayers’ and employees’expense -Striking employees of Valleyview Care Centre are outraged thatDr. Kabir Jivraj, co-owner of the company that operates the facility and adirector of the company that owns it, personally received $690,000 in 2008 as part of a $16 million payout to board members and executives.
Valleyview staff are shocked at the massive pay-outs these executives aregetting while they’re being offered sub-standard wages.AUPE Local 048/ 019 members are on strike at the Valleyview Care Centre in Medicine Hat, which is operated by AgeCare Investments Ltd & Northern Property Real Estate Investment Trust.”Just over a week ago, members were told a fair wage increase would breakAgeCare. Now they’ve got the truth – AgeCare’s owners are getting rich whilethey struggle,” said Staff Negotiator Dale Perry, who leads the local’sbargaining committee. AgeCare is co-owned Dr. Kabir Jivraj, a Calgary physician and a formerSenior Vice-President and Medical Officer of Health for the Calgary HealthRegion, and Dr. Hasmukh Patel, of Medicine Hat. Dr. Jivraj is also on theboard of trustees for Northern Property. Dr. Jivraj received stock-based compensation worth more than $690,000 fromNorthern Property last year, in addition to an annual $120,000 payment toAgeCare for “advisory services” related to the seniors’ care facilities.
AgeCare has repeatedly refused to offer Valleyview staff compensationcomparable to similar facilities in the region, despite receiving the samelevel of funding from taxpayers and senior citizen residents. AgeCare paystheir staff wages as much as 30 per cent below those paid in similar publicand not-for-profit facilities. AgeCare sold its seniors’ care centres to Northern Property REIT in 2006 for$142.9 million in a tangled leaseback scheme that effectively allowed Dr.Jivraj to maintain part ownership of the facilities as a shareholder whilepocketing a massive paycheque. In a circular arrangement, AgeCare signed a 20-year lease that required itto manage, operate and perform limited maintenance on the assisted-livingfacilities. Hestia Group of Companies Inc., which is 100 per cent owned byDr. Jivraj, received approximately $2 million worth of Northern Propertystock in the deal and Dr. Jivraj was placed on Northern Properties’ board oftrustees. The leaseback arrangement was lauded by Northern Property President and CEO Jim Britton who noted in a press release that “over 70 per cent of AgeCare’srevenues are directly provided by, or are assured by, provincial governmentagencies.” In other words, taxpayers and residents of the facilities cover theoperating costs, effectively guaranteeing huge profits for both AgeCareInvestments and Northern Property. On March 3, the company reported that itsseniors’ facilities earned $16.4 million in revenue.
Valleyview Care Centre was the first privately operated and publicly fundedassisted-living facility in the AgeCare portfolio, which now includes fivesuch facilities in Alberta and one in Burnaby, B.C.
Last Thursday Alberta Senior’s Minister Mary Anne Jablonski announced thegovernment plans to hand Dr. Jivraj and Dr. Patel another $6.6 million intaxpayer money to expand their Beverly Midnapore facility in Calgary andopen a new 30-bed facility in Strathmore. (See “misspent monies”” In a facility managed by a non-profit or public sector operator, excess funds should go back into patient services, staffing and maintenance, not executives’ bank accounts,” Knight said. According to the most recent Northern Property REIT quarterly report, “the slowdown in the economy had very little impact on NPR’s financial results in 2008.” ADAPTED from AUPE News & Updates March 22, 2009