Honest answers should come from independent officer, not a hand-picked commission

Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner made the following statement regarding the Financial Commission of Inquiry announced by Premier Ford today:

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“I support fiscally responsible government. But I am concerned that Premier Ford is hand-picking a financial commission to deliver the answers that he wants, not the honest answers we need.”

A line-by-line audit, as the Premier has called for, should be done by the Auditor General, which is an independent officer of the legislature, not a commission that is controlled by the Premier’s office.

Premier Ford has already misled people on how his hydro actions will save money. He said that the severance of Hydro One CEO Mayo Schmidt would cost nothing. The next day we learned about his $400,000 retirement package and $9 million in stock options.

When I asked today about an economic analysis of the cost of withdrawing from cap-and-trade and cancelling climate programs, the government didn’t have an answer.

When asked about the cost of cancelling 758 energy contracts, the government did not have a clear answer.

I find it ironic that Premier Ford has hired Gordon Campbell, the former Premier of British Columbia who had the good judgment to introduce pollution pricing in 2008, to chair this commission. Perhaps Mr. Campbell can suggest fiscally responsible ways that Ontario can price pollution and return the revenue directly to citizens.

This government says it wants to save people money. I suggest they start with honest answers about how much their actions since forming government will cost the people of Ontario.”