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A BILLION DOLLARS LOST, A BILLION DOLLARS THAT NEEDS TO BE FOUND AGAIN
Publication: MPP Munro | Date: Nov 19 2013

The Liberal government made a conscious decision to use taxpayer funds for partisan purposes. The $1.1 Billion they used to cancel power plants already under construction in Mississauga and Oakville could have been used for so many services that mean so much to Ontarians in need. The brazenly partisan decision made by the Ontario Liberal Party elites in the heat of election time shows how little they care about you and me, and how much they will risk by putting their own political success ahead of the success of this province.

Since May 2012, We, Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, have been trying to hold this rogue government to account – and we still don’t have all the answers. The Liberals have used every trick in the book to withhold information on the actual costs of cancelling the power plants but also they have withheld information on how that decision was made. The Auditor General has made it clear in two special reports that this government should not have done what they did. In the case of the Oakville plant, the AG outlined that it seems the Premier did not even read the power plant contract before making the decision – the contract had an out-clause that could have saved taxpayers and hydro ratepayers $675 million. The only problem for the Liberals was they’d have to wait until February 2014 to finalize the cancellation – a date too far in the future to use this decision for their own political gain when trying to hold onto majority government status.

What does a billion dollars mean to our province? What provincial services and programs could have been funded with a billion dollars?

It is interesting to note that one billion dollars represents the budget expenditures for the Ministries of Energy, Environment and Infrastructure combined. Also, the whole annual budget for the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation is just under a billion dollars.

We can equate $1.1 Billion to what the government spends on autism support services and Public Health for the province, combined. Also, one billion dollars represents how much the Ministry of Health  spends annually on its Health Policy and Research Program. One billion dollars also represents most of the Ministry of Health’s budget for building new hospitals and other healthcare infrastructure.  

A billion dollars lost, a billion dollars that needs to be found again. This is the impact on the services Ontarians rely on. The Liberals have used this amount of taxpayer money for their own gain. 

So, we can understand the magnitude of their self-interested decision to cancel these power plants without due diligence. This scandal is the biggest in Ontario’s history at a time when we need to be stretching taxpayer dollars to meet the monumental challenges Queen’s Park faces.

Self-interest cannot ever be confused with the public interest. The Liberals refuse to understand this. Their actions speak louder than their words.