Frank Klees

Press Release

For Immediate Release

July 31, 2012

Klees: Health Minister Deb Matthews Must Resign

Matthews Directly Responsible for Ornge Scandal

(Queen’s Park) – With ongoing revelations into Minister of Health Deb Matthews’ repeated failure to fulfill the obligations of her office, it is incumbent upon her to resign her position immediately said PC Transportation Critic, Frank Klees.

“This minister refuses to be held accountable for a scandal of her own making,” noted Klees. “It is now undeniable that the minister is grossly incompetent and clear that she ignored numerous warnings about the corruption and blatant misuse of public dollars at Ornge.”

The minister appeared today for a second time before a legislative committee investigating the Ornge scandal where she was confronted with an internal Ministry of Health document (see attached) raising numerous concerns about the financial dealings of Ornge. Written by senior bureaucrats and copied to six high-ranking ministry officials, the document states that the Ontario government is on the hook for the $300 million debt incurred by Ornge.

"I simply don't believe the minister when she insists she never saw this document," said Klees. “If it's true that six senior bureaucrats didn't give that information to her, then they should be given their walking papers along with the minister."

“The minister has provided us with a number of excuses, all of which range from pure nonsense to absurd and bizarre fiction,” Klees said. “Not once has the minister proffered an even remotely justifiable explanation for her complete abdication of leadership.”

The committee has heard from 54 witnesses, the overwhelming majority of whom have testified that the Ministry of Health and Minister of Health were kept fully and painstakingly informed of all actions and policies at Ornge.

 “There has been a disturbing deterioration of oversight and accountability at both Ornge and within the Ministry of Health,” Klees said.

“With each passing day the Ornge scandal grows more odious,” said Klees. “Lives have been lost, hundreds of millions have been wasted and our Health Minister has nothing to say for herself, she continues to pass the buck and point the finger elsewhere.”

“Deb Matthews must resign her position,” concluded Klees.

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