Liberals Attempt to Shut Down Ornge Hearings, Silence Critics
01 August 2012
(Queen’s Park) – The McGuinty Liberal government has moved to shut down legislative hearings into the ongoing Ornge air ambulance scandal.
Liberal committee member and MPP for Guelph, Liz Sandals, introduced a motion yesterday requesting that the Public Accounts committee cease its questioning of key witnesses and immediately proceed to the report writing stage, thereby ending all public hearings into what transpired at the scandal-plagued agency.
“This is an attempt by the Liberal government to silence its critics by shutting down the committee,” said PC Transportation Critic, Frank Klees. “The Liberals are clearly tired of having their government’s incompetence and unconscionable mismanagement of public dollars brought to light by the committee.”
The McGuinty Liberals argue that despite the countless unanswered questions that persist about what occurred at Ornge, the Ministry of Health and within the Premier’s Office, Ontarians do not deserve answers as to what actually transpired.
“The motion presented yesterday by the Liberals speaks to the government’s brazen willingness to avoid responsibility for what amounts to an unprecedented scandal that will forever tarnish the legacy of this government,” noted Klees. “Their desire to avoid accountability is utterly shameless.”
The Liberal government has repeatedly refused all efforts by the Legislature to properly and thoroughly investigate the latest in a long line of Liberal scandals.
“The government has stonewalled every attempt to investigate this scandal,” Klees said. “Its argument that the committee has completed its work is pure nonsense.”
Serious questions remain concerning Minister Deb Matthews’ failure to take action and provide oversight of Ornge as several million dollars worth of public funds are currently unaccounted for and evidence of compromised patient safety and political interference continues to come to light.
“We’ve only scratched the surface of this scandal and clearly, given the government’s reaction, we’re starting to uncover things the Liberals would rather keep hidden,” added Klees. “I have to ask, what are they hiding and who are they trying to protect?”
“This scandal is the result of Deb Matthews’ abject failure as a minister. Instead of doing the proper and honourable thing, which is to resign, she and her Liberal colleagues are conspiring to shut down the investigation,” concluded Klees. “This is an affront to democracy and a direct assault on government accountability.”