TORONTO – Today’s annual report from the Auditor General of Ontario shows a province in shambles and public services in crisis, the president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union says.
“The Auditor General documents that public services in Ontario are continuing their downward spiral under Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “Public services Ontarians depend on are underfunded and badly managed, and privatization has spun out of control.
“This just confirms what we have been saying all along,” Thomas said. “This government is somewhere between incompetent and corrupt, depending on the issue.”
In her report today, Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk highlighted major problems in several areas:
- In long-term care, the Nursing Home Inspection Program is not able to meet its inspection requirements to ensure that seniors have quality of life and safety in long term care homes. The backlog of complaints and critical incidents more than doubled between December 2013 and March 2015 – from about 1,300 to about 2,800.
- The privately-run Social Assistance Management System (SAMS) has gone $40 million over budget so far and made benefit calculation errors totaling $140 million ($89 million in overpayments and $51 million in underpayments).
- In Children’s Aid Societies, a computer system designed by the same private-sector company delivering the SAMS project is not functioning properly, “making it difficult for these societies’ to meet legislative requirements,” the Auditor General said.
- Since 2004, big business has received 96 per cent of government money spent on economic development – through a process that has no clear selection criteria and does not track results. Start-up companies received no economic development support.
“What we are seeing in this report is a government that is cozy with big business and uninterested in the problems of everyday people who expect their government to deliver quality services and value for money,” OPSEU’s Thomas said. “OPSEU members work hard every day to keep public services running, but I have to tell you, it’s getting harder and harder.”
For more information:
Warren (Smokey) Thomas: (613) 329-1931