Wilson: Auditor General’s report proves it’s time for change

Published on December 11, 2017

Last week, Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk released her latest report on government spending. It’s clear from the contents of her report that it’s time for change in our province.  

This is Lysyk’s last report before the election in June. I encourage all voters to take a look at the report to get a complete picture of the waste and mismanagement that is happening in Ontario.

The report makes a number of things clear:

* There is a culture of waste at Queen’s Park that has steadily grown and become worse under the Liberals and Kathleen Wynne for the past 14 years.

 

* Life for hard-working families in Ontario has only become tougher with rising hydro prices, increased taxes and lack of access to basic and necessary services. At the same time, well-connected Liberal insiders have been doing very well.

 

* This year the Auditor General identified over a billion dollars in waste in her report. This is money that could be spent building two new hospitals in our riding.

 

Here are just a few of the issues identified in the report:

 

* Nine gas and coal companies claimed $260 million in ineligible and egregious costs that hit ratepayers on their hydro bills.

 

* The Liberals have added significant hydro costs to families and small mom and pop shops as a result of a decision to transfer $245 million worth of electricity costs away from big multinational companies. This has been done mainly to cover ineffective and expensive renewable power contracts.

 

* The Wynne Liberals spent $17.4 million on government advertisements that the Auditor General says are “intended to make the government look good.” The total government advertising budget has reached a 10-year high.

 

* Taxpayers paid nearly $19 million to operate and maintain 812 vacant buildings. In total, the government could have saved $170 million a year on buildings that currently sit empty.

 

* Students have been performing below provincial standards in math since 2008-09. It was not until 2016 that the province began allocating funding to school boards to improve student math achievement.

 

* The Auditor General also found $1 billion of savings in just 14 government programs. There are hundreds of government programs and agencies that need to be examined.

 

The Liberal government’s culture of entitlement will never end. For 14 years, it has been the same story. It’s time for a real change that will put families first.

 

My party recently released our platform the People’s Guarantee. We commit to reduce taxes for the middle class; reduce hydro rates and end the Green Energy Act; create 100,000 new daycare spaces and refund up to 75% of your daycare costs; make the largest investment in mental health ever; and, restore trust in government by introducing the first ever Trust, Integrity and Accountability Act.

 

Our plan has been deemed reasonable by former federal Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page and it has received a number of great reviews. It is a plan for a better future for everybody.

 

Our Leader, Patrick Brown, has pledged not to run for a second term if he does not fulfill our five key commitments in our platform. I will also sign this pledge.

 

After 14 years of Kathleen Wynne and this government, Ontario families are working longer hours, paying more and getting less. It has become harder and harder for citizens to get ahead, while the well-connected friends of the Liberals have flourished.

 

It’s time for change that works for you and your family.