Frank Klees

Press Release

March 1, 2012




QUEEN’S PARK – In a demonstration of bi-partisanship, the Progressive Conservative and New Democratic Parties of Ontario today jointly called on the government to appoint an All-Party Select Committee of the Legislature to investigate the ORNGE air ambulance debacle.

Ontario PC Transport Critic Frank Klees and NDP Health Critic France Gelinas held a joint news conference this morning to stress their proposal for the all-party committee.  “Events of the past several weeks have shown that this matter has spun entirely out of the McGuinty government’s control,” Klees said.

“We need the mandate of a Select Committee to empower the legislature to get to the bottom of the ORNGE scandal. Current and past employees, suppliers and stakeholders want to come forward with information, but they need protection from reprisals. A properly structured Select Committee with the accompanying whistle-blower protection is the only way to ensure we get all the facts and can get on with restoring confidence in our air ambulance system".

Klees and Gelinas worked together to develop the Terms of Reference for the Select Committee which will enable it to investigate a range of issues, including:

  • Ontario’s air emergency system in general
  • ORNGE’s role and functions in particular, as well as those of its subsidiaries, affiliates and related entities
  • The receipt and use of funds disbursed in connection with ORNGE
  • The role any Ministers, officials, political advisors and lobbyists may have played in decisions relating to Ornge; and
  • The need for whistleblower protection

“In the end, we will look to the Committee to make recommendations on how best to restore confidence in Ontario's air ambulance system and what structural changes have to be made to ensure that primary oversight of the service is restored to the Ministry of Health” Klees added.

Klees dismissed the suggestion that Public Accounts Committee hearings could achieve the same result.

“Those hearings would be limited in scope " Klees said. “The public wants to know that we take this seriously, and we have a responsibility to do this right".

For further information contact

Frank Klees, MPP

(416) 325-7316


Select Committee on Ornge