Auditor-General Exposes Culture of Backroom Deals and Recklessness

December 2, 2015

QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario’s Auditor-General Bonnie Lysyk released her Annual Report earlier today. The report covered several Government departments, including social assistance, energy, child protection and Service Ontario.  Throughout the report, the Auditor-General highlights how the Government awarded contracts and funding without the public’s knowledge, without a competitive bidding process and without any accountability measures in place.

 

“This report provides an upsetting glimpse into the mentality that has pervaded this Government” MPP McDonell commented. “Eighty percent of Economic Development funding was awarded without being advertised and through an invitation-only application process which did not carry any reporting or accountability obligations. Only 4% of the total funding went to small and medium businesses through regional development funds. Moreover, the Liberals have re-announced about $1 billion in funding that had already earned them good media, meaning that money was never allocated in the first place.”

 

The report also covered growing energy rates, finding that Ontario’s expensive subsidies to wind and solar are made possible by the Government’s failure to produce a full technical long-term energy plan that the Ontario Energy Board could review and hold the Government to. Without the plan, the Government is able to contract with any generation facility at any price without oversight.

 

“The technical plan has been a legal requirement since 2004 and the Liberals have ignored the law ever since” MPP McDonell stated. “As a result, our hydro rates have grown by 80% since 2004. Between now and 2032, the Global Adjustment – the cost of overpaying for electricity – will cost Ontario ratepayers $133 billion. Our generation system is only 80% reliable since not all days are windy and sunny, and this will worsen if the current policies continue.”

 

The Auditor-General’s report also found power outages last 30% longer and are 24% more frequent, and that Hydro One doesn’t use smart meter data to detect whether an outage has occurred.

 

“The Liberals have created a surreal nightmare for ratepayers.” MPP McDonell concluded. “Hydro knows what time we use the dishwasher, but is clueless about whether we’re receiving power. The lights are out, but there’s a power surplus. This Government should be ashamed of themselves.”