Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, Hamilton Spectator – Thursday December 11, 2014
Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk unleashed her microscope on Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government Tuesday. Here is what she found in her annual report.
Financing 74 infrastructure projects through private-public partnerships has cost taxpayers at least $8 billion more in borrowing and other expenses than if they had been publicly funded.
Infrastructure Ontario, the government’s P3 agency (as in public-private partnerships), made a risky $224 million loan to the MaRS Discovery District to bail out the new phase two tower.
Ontario’s ballooning debt, which was at $267 billion as of March 31, will be at about $325 billion before the Liberals plan to stop running budget deficits in 2017-18.
The government is not meeting its objectives on the $1.9 billion smart meter program designed to encourage consumers to conserve energy.
There is inadequate oversight of licensed daycare with only 50 per cent of new operators having on file criminal background checks for staff.
Ontario’s $250 million annual immunization program is not as efficient as it could be with 21,000 instances last year where the Ministry of Health paid physicians and pharmacists for administering the flu shot to the same person. A new vaccination registry, Panorama, is costing $160 million, which means it is $85 million over budget. Still, the government does not know what happens to 20 per cent of the flu vaccine doses it purchases each year.
There are huge waiting lists for residential services for people with developmental disabilities. As of March 31, there were 14,300 adults on the waiting list — compared with 17,400 actually receiving services.
Fourteen years after the Walkerton tragedy that killed seven people and left 2,300 ill, some key recommendations from the judicial inquiry into the tainted-water disaster have not been acted upon. (Source: Toronto Star)