McNaughton: Liberals Once Again Wasting Taxpayers' Money
28 September 2012
“The premier is trying to make the cancellations sound like minor errors in judgment. But the more you look at them the more they look like deliberate disregard for taxpayers.”
- Editorial, The Windsor Star, September 26, 2012
QUEEN’S PARK – This past week has once again shown the Liberals’ willingness to waste taxpayers’ money after internal government documents revealed the government threw away at least $640 million on their gas plant fiasco, Ontario PC Economic Development and Innovation Critic Monte McNaughton said today.
“For close to four months, the Liberals refused to hand over documents relating to their decisions to cancel the Mississauga and Oakville gas plants to save Liberal seats,” McNaughton stated. “When they were finally forced to under pressure from a motion of contempt, the package – containing incomplete information – reveals the cost of their seat-saver program is almost three times larger than what they claimed.”
The Liberals have continually tried to mislead the public about the cost of canceling the Mississauga plant as $190 million and the Oakville plant as $40 million. However, documents reveal the actual cost to cancel both plants is at least $640 million, and that Liberal political operatives interfered every step of the way with the negotiations for compensation with TransCanada.
“And what’s worse, the gas plant fiasco isn’t the only case of Liberal managerial incompetence,” McNaughton continued. “They’ve wasted billions of dollars on scandals like Ornge and eHealth. Yet – like the gas plant issue – they’re refusing to hand over documents on eHealth and the Premier refuses to come clean before committee on Ornge.”
To date, the eHealth scandal has cost taxpayers at least $2 billion and has given them little in return. “You have to wonder what the Liberals are trying to hide,” McNaughton said. “If the gas plant fiasco is costing taxpayers almost three times what the government claimed, does this mean Ontarians will be on the hook for a $6-billion eHealth scandal?”
All of this is money that could have gone towards important public services for Ontarians, such as frontline healthcare and education, McNaughton stated. Instead, the McGuinty Liberals chose to continue their legacy of abusing public funds. “They’ve shown complete disregard for Ontarians and the fact that countless families are struggling to pay the bills or even find a job.”
“This week, the McGuinty Liberals have certainly shown their managerial incompetence when it comes to putting Ontario back on track towards economic prosperity and job creation,” McNaughton concluded. “The message has been clear: the Premier cannot be trusted to manage highly important and complex issues like energy.”