‘Delighted to have her’: Deena Hinshaw hired as deputy provincial health officer in B.C.

British Columbia’s health minister says Dr. Deena Hinshaw’s “extraordinary skills and energy commitment” will be a big addition to the province’s health office.

Alberta’s once praised chief medical officer of health, who was the face of the Alberta’s COVID-19 pandemic response, was hired as a deputy provincial health officer in B.C. on a six-month contract.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have her come to British Columbia and be part and support our public health-care system,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix at a press conference Wednesday. “She’s not the first doctor to be recruited here from Alberta, certainly won’t be the last.

“Especially given the work we’re doing here together and the respect that we give public-health doctors, which I think has been consistent over the past few years.”

In a release, the province says Hinshaw will support the work of the provincial health office.

“She is outstanding,” added Dix. “She was available and she’s going to help our team. Just delighted to have her.”

Hinshaw was replaced from her role in Alberta in mid-November, a month after Danielle Smith became premier.

After her nomination victory, Smith quickly announced her intention of overhauling AHS and replacing Hinshaw.

Smith consistently blamed Hinshaw and AHS for failing to deliver what she described as proper advice and care for Albertans during multiple waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hinshaw was replaced by Dr. Mark Joffe, a senior executive member of Alberta Health Services.

Hinshaw was face of Alberta’s COVID response

Hinshaw became a familiar figure during the COVID-19 pandemic as she delivered regular updates online and through tweets on the spread of the virus and the measures the province was taking.

She urged Albertans to stay safe and treat each other with respect and reminded them often: “We’re all in this together.”


But the once-praised chief medical officer was increasingly criticized as the pandemic continued.

There was public outrage when it was revealed Hinshaw had been paid a $228,000 bonus on top of her regular $363,000 salary in 2021.

At various anti-restriction rallies, protesters chanted, “Lock her up!” The government spent money on her security due to numerous threats.

On Wednesday, B.C. also announced it was hiring Dr. Martin Lavoie as a deputy provincial health officer on temporary assignment and Dr. Andrew Larder on temporary assignment.

—With files from The Canadian Press

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