Frank Klees

Press Release

“OVERSIGHT OF ORNGE CLEARLY INADEQUATE: AUDITOR GENERAL”

-AG News Release on ORNGE Report

(March 21, 2012)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 21st, 2012

KLEES: MATTHEWS MUST RESIGN OVER AG REPORT

QUEEN’S PARK – Health Minister Deb Matthews must resign following revelations of lack of oversight, excessive waste and mismanagement at the disgraced agency ORNGE, Ontario PC MPP Klees said today.

Klees made his comments after the release of a scathing report from Auditor General Jim McCarter. The report found that Health Minister Deb Matthews and the McGuinty Liberals completely failed in their duty to provide proper oversight of an organization that has received more than $700 million in taxpayer dollars since 2006.

“The Auditor General’s report confirms what Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC Caucus have said all along,” Klees said. “The Ministry of Health had the authority, oversight and explicit responsibility for ORNGE and it failed to exercise that responsibility,” Klees added.

“The Minister repeatedly claimed that she had no knowledge of what was going on at ORNGE and that she did not have the authority to intervene. The Auditor General exposed the Minister’s excuses today. The lack of oversight has put essential frontline patient care at risk. Dalton McGuinty has no choice but to fire Deb Matthews.”

Klees went on to say that, “From today’s Auditor General’s revelations, to skyrocketing taxpayer-funded salaries for ORNGE executives and hundreds of thousands of dollars doled out to pay for business degrees for employees - Deb Matthews needs to be held accountable for her failure to address these problems.”

“Compounding this $700-million mess is a government careening toward doubling the deficit, which is putting much needed healthcare services at risk.”

“Deb Matthews now claims she’s improving accountability and oversight at ORNGE but Ontarians do not have any faith that the Health Minister is capable of doing this job.”

“Improving oversight only works if you can trust the person providing the oversight. Deb Matthews’ failure to respond to repeated warnings about the activities at ORNGE shows she cannot be trusted to provide that oversight.”

“The Ontario PC and NDP Caucuses joined together and voted in favour of calling on the McGuinty government to appoint a special Select Committee to investigate the scandals surrounding ORNGE. In another display of arrogance and neglect, Dalton McGuinty and Deb Matthews skipped the vote.”

Klees concluded that “For the sake of quality patient care and frontline healthcare delivery, we need to put the best interests of Ontarians first. Deb Matthews needs to resign and Dalton McGuinty needs to launch an all-party investigation so we can get to the bottom of this mess.”

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