The Liberal government has greenlit a 22% hike to Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam’s salary.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, Tam will now be earning $324,000 a year – a $59,400 boost from her previous salary of $265,000. Additionally, Tam had her contract for the role extended by another three years.
Throughout her management of the Covid-19 pandemic, Tam has faced criticism for bungling many aspects of the federal response.
Recently, Tam acknowledged that the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) underestimated initial spread rates.
“Yes, we only got the tip of the iceberg,” said Tam on Jan. 14, 2021.
A year prior, Tam also asserted that the virus was largely under control before another wave.
“Transmission is largely under control. Canada is aiming for strong epidemic control over the course of the pandemic with less than ten percent of the population infected overall,” said Tam on Jun. 29, 2020.
Critics have also accused PHAC of mismanaging Canada’s emergency stockpile prior to the pandemic after it was revealed that Tam had closed several warehouses full of medical supplies at the start of the pandemic
Additionally, millions of pieces of personal protective equipment were thrown into the dump. In February, it was revealed that nobody at PHAC was held accountable for the decision and former vice-president Sally Thornton who was overseeing the stockpile at the time went into retirement.
Tam has also given conflicting advice to Canadians when it came to masking. During the early days of the pandemic, Tam stated that there was “no need to use a mask for well people.” She also stated that “a mask on an asymptomatic person is not beneficial.”
“What we worry about is actually the potentially negative aspects of wearing masks where people are not protecting their eyes or, you know, other aspects of where the virus could enter your body, and that gives you a false sense of confidence,” said Tam on Mar. 30, 2020.
Tam was not the only federal official to receive a salary boost in the midst of the pandemic. According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation over half a million public sector workers received pay raises.