(Queen’s Park): The Liberal government is taking care of their friends instead of what should be their core business: creating and managing programs for the benefit of all of us in Ontario.
“I’m calling on the government to act on recommendations from today’s Auditor General report” says GPO leader Mike Schreiner. “We need to pay immediate and special attention to concerns regarding our social programs for children and the elderly, to support communities instead of corporate friends of the Liberals, and to stop wasting billions on new nuclear.”
1. Why are handouts going to corporations while communities are ignored?
The Liberals have handed out $2.36 billion to a select group of companies, without a transparent and fair process for awarding funds. Small and medium size businesses received only 4% of the those funds.
The process is outrageously unfair and a slap in the face of local businesses.
Worse, the Liberals re-announced $1 billion of those funds with different flashy news conferences under different program names. The GPO is demanding an open, transparent and fair process for awarding economic grants, with a level playing field for small and medium size businesses.
2. Why are children and elderly at risk because of poorly delivered social programs?
The government is failing to ensure an acceptable level of care for some of our most vulnerable citizens. Audits into children’s aid societies, home and community care and long-term care facilities show serious inadequacies.
It is unacceptable that children in the care of Ontario’s 47 Children’s Aid Societies are in danger. Immediate action is required to ensure that child protection investigations are done on time, not closed too soon, and that proper background checks of caregivers are completed.
The same lack of oversight and support for Children’s Aid Societies plagues Long-Term Care facilities. Problems identified by the Auditor General with home care in 2010 have still not been corrected by the government.
It’s time to dismantle Ontario’s 14 Community Care Access Centres, deliver home care that works for patients and caregivers and increase support for long-term care.
3. Why are we wasting money on expensive, outdated nuclear?
The Auditor General’s report raises serious concerns about the mismanagement of Ontario’s electricity system.
The government’s failure to take advantage of rapidly dropping prices for green energy is already grabbing headlines, but the Liberal love affair with nuclear is the real culprit here.
The Auditor General has cited the increase in the Global Adjustment as the primary cause of rising electricity prices. 45% of the increase in the Global Adjustment is due to subsidies for our aging nuclear reactors, according to an Ontario Energy Board report.
Even though the Auditor General says we have enough energy to exceed our baseload generation needs from 2015 to 2020, the Liberals are still pushing ahead with plans for expensive nuclear rebuilds. All told we will need billions to rebuild outdated plants.
For this reason, the GPO is calling for a moratorium on rebuilding nuclear stations until an independent, public review of the costs and alternatives to rebuilding Ontario’s nuclear plants is completed.
The GPO is on a mission to bring honesty, integrity and good public policy to Queen’s Park.