Frank Klees

Press Release

For Immediate Release

July 18, 2012

Mazza Testimony Further Evidence of Liberal Mismanagement of Ornge

(Queen’s Park) – Dr. Christopher Mazza, former CEO of the scandal-plagued air ambulance service, Ornge, testified today that senior Liberal cabinet ministers were kept “fully and regularly” briefed by officials at Ornge.

“Dr. Mazza confirmed today that this scandal touches the highest levels of leadership in the Liberal government,” said PC Transportation Critic Frank Klees. “It is absolutely undeniable that the Liberal leadership held full knowledge of what was transpiring at Ornge, including the corporate restructuring and Mazza’s salary.”

Mazza testified that he offered Minister Matthews a personal briefing following questions asked by Klees in Question Period about Ornge. Matthews denied the briefing request on the grounds that she was “comfortable and confident” with Ornge’s direction, thereby making a briefing not necessary.

“It’s inconceivable to think that after learning of serious concerns about Ornge Minister Matthews refused a direct request from Dr. Mazza to brief her and her staff,” Klees said. “Clearly, the Minister had no interest in what was going on.”

The committee heard that at no point did the Liberal government or the Ministry of Health raise concerns about Ornge. Mazza stated that Ornge was fully compliant with the government’s will at all times.

“The Liberal government has been negligent from the very beginning, they have failed in their responsibilities and have let Ontarians down,” said Klees. “At no point did the government ever show the oversight or leadership expected of them.”

Mazza also elucidated on his several meetings with Premier McGuinty, who has repeatedly denied ever talking about Ornge with Mazza, stating, “The Ministers and the Premier, the government, supported me 100%.”

“The Premier and his government have some explaining to do,” Klees said. “The Premier stood in the Legislature and denied ever talking to Dr. Mazza about Ornge but today we learned that isn’t true, we learned that the government, including the Premier, fully endorsed Dr. Mazza’s plans.”

“The Ornge scandal was borne out of the government’s mismanagement and refusal to fulfill its obligations,” added Klees. “From the very beginning, Minister Matthews had the power to intervene but she chose not to, she chose negligence and as a result Ontarians are paying the price.”

Public Accounts July 18, 2012 Morning

Public Accounts July 18, 2012 Afternoon