Arthur Porter steps down as head of MUHC
Dr. Arthur Porter, MUHC. File Photo
Published Monday, December 5, 2011 8:51PM EST
Arthur Porter has handed over the leadership reins of the McGill University Health Centre.
Porter, who has been CEO and director general of the MUHC since 2004, came under public scrutiny last month amid allegations of controversial business dealings. The scrutiny prompted his resignation as the civilian chief of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, the body that oversees Canada's spy agency CSIS.
The MUHC board of directors accepted his resignation Monday and named Normand Rinfret as interim director general and CEO. Rinfret was previously associate executive director and chief operating officer of the MUHC.
"Having presented a vision of the future to the board, it's now an appropriate time for me to move on," said Porter in a press statement.
Porter was scheduled to resign on March 31, 2012.
The board of directors thanked Porter for his role in shaping the MUHC and overseeing the Glen Yards superhospital project.
"The MUHC community is very grateful to Arthur Porter," said board member David Angus in a statement. "The board of directors is exploring a number of ideas to pay tribute to the man who not only made the Glen Campus a reality but has also helped transform the MUHC as a whole."
Questionable business dealings
It was revealed in November that Porter, who is from Sierra Leone, once struck a $120-million aid-for-development initiative with businessman Ari Ben-Menashe, a controversial figure who claims involvement with the Israeli government.
That deal would have given African Infrastructure Group, a firm owned by Porter and his family, the chance to manage infrastructure projects in his homeland.
His Montreal consultancy has also done work for notorious Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe.
At the time, Porter said the story was overblown.
"There was basically a group of folks who had talked to some consultants to see if we can get some funding for a desperately poor country -- to build bridges, ferries, etc. The entire deal was to find out if there was. As it's turned out there was never really any funding," he explained.