Auditor General says Ontario not prepared for a nuclear emergency

The Green Party of Ontario says the Auditor General’s report shows the Liberal government puts big corporations and insiders ahead of the needs of people and communities.

TORONTO — The Green Party of Ontario says the Auditor General’s report shows the Liberal government puts big corporations and insiders ahead of the needs of people and communities.

“It is highly irresponsible that the Liberals haven’t updated nuclear emergency plans in almost a decade and the emergency planning committee hasn’t even met in years,’ said GPO Leader Mike Schreiner.

“Ontario’s nuclear emergency planning hasn’t been updated since the Fukushima disaster.”

“The Liberals are putting people at risk by extending the life of the Pickering nuclear plant past its best before date without updating emergency plans,” said Schreiner. “I wouldn’t drink milk past the best before date, why are Liberals doing that with Pickering while ignoring emergency plans?”

The Auditor’s report shows how the Liberals also put big corporations ahead of people and small businesses in everything from electricity rates to farm support programs.

Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk found electricity rates for residential and small businesses doubled while rates for large industrial users declined.

In her annual report, Lysyk also reports that nine energy companies gamed Ontario’s electricity system for at least $260 million, while the government rebated another $30 million to gas companies for ineligible maintenance and operating costs.

“All these goodies for energy industry insiders drives up the cost of your electricity bill,” said Schreiner.

The auditor also said farm programs don’t actually provide support for small growers and favour large corporate farms.

Lysyk said the demand for social housing in Ontario has risen 36 per cent in 13 years and warned the situation will only get worse because the Liberals have no provincial strategy to address the problem.

“The auditor’s 2017 report is a damning indictment of a tired Liberal government that favours friends and insiders over people and communities,” said Schreiner. “We need Green MPPs to change the status quo at Queen’s Park.”