Statement by Green Party leader Mike Schreiner
Liberal government lacks transparency and accountability
Queen’s Park – Auditor General Jim McCarter’s Annual Report clearly highlights the need for more transparency and accountability in government.
Sadly, with Premier McGuinty’s decision to prorogue parliament, this report will not receive the attention it deserves in the legislature.
Whether it’s health care, the justice system, or providing good quality education, the Liberal government has not delivered value for money in key areas that affect our quality of life.
At a time of financial uncertainty and record deficits, it’s critical for Ontario to use innovation to find efficiencies that help contain costs and deliver quality care. Yet the Liberals have failed to deliver quality programs that will provide cost savings by preventing illness.
The Auditor General’s report documents concerns with cancer screening programs, management of of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, inadequacies in independent diagnostic programs, and ineffective long-term care placements.
Ontario needs a better system to improve care and reduce stress on hospitals, with efficient placements and supports for community care, home care and long term care. Our seniors especially deserve better.
The cost of administering justice is going up while crime is going down. Like the federal Conservatives, the provincial Liberals are throwing more money at the justice system when crime rates are falling.
Ontario must do a better job of finding efficiencies in administering the criminal justice system. It would be far better to reallocate those financial resources to areas where the needs are increasing, not decreasing.
We owe it to our students, especially Aboriginal students, to ensure that we have quality education and training programs in place. It is unacceptable that Ontario has not made progress in closing the gap between graduation rates for Aboriginal students and the general population.
All Ontarians must have access to quality education to be successful in the 21st century. Ontario could create a fairer, more efficient education system by moving to a single publicly funded school board. This would save over $1 billion per year, money that can be reinvested in providing quality education for all students.
In difficult financial times it is especially important for government to deliver value for money to maximize the public benefit of essential public services. The Premier needs to address concerns raised by the Auditor General, especially to find ways to improve health care and education.