Press Releases

MPP Nicholls: Matthews must resign over AG report

March 21, 2012


-AG News Release on ORNGE Report (March 21, 2012)

QUEEN’S PARK – The excessive waste, mismanagement, and shameful lack of oversight at the disgraced agency ORNGE must result in the resignation of Health Minister Deb Matthews, Ontario PC MPP Rick Nicholls said today.

Today’s scathing report from Auditor General Jim McCarter should serve as yet another wake-up call for the McGuinty Liberals, said Nicholls. The report found that Health Minister Deb Matthews and the McGuinty Liberals completely failed in their duty to provide proper oversight of an organization that has received more than $700 million in taxpayer dollars since 2006.

“Ontarians are furious over what has gone on at ORNGE under Minister Matthews’ watch – and they ought to be,” said Nicholls. “The McGuinty government is putting Ontario’s health care into a Code Blue situation as their out-of-control spending threatens to double Ontario’s deficit to $30 billion.

“Most disgraceful of all, though, was the Auditor General’s assertion that the oversight at ORNGE could well have put lives in jeopardy.”

The Ministry of Health has the necessary authority and explicit responsibility for ORNGE, and it failed to exercise that responsibility, said Nicholls.

“Yet the Minister told the people of Ontario over and over that she did not have prior knowledge of what was happening at ORNGE and that she did not have the necessary authority to act. We know today that the opposite is true.

“And when the Ontario PC and NDP caucuses voted yesterday to appoint a Select Committee to investigate the scandals at ORNGE, Deb Matthews and Dalton McGuinty didn’t even bother to show up.”

Nicholls wondered why they skipped the vote, and what they might have been hiding.

Revelations of salaries at ORNGE that topped hundreds of thousands of dollars set an odd contrast to the recent Drummond Report, which has warned the McGuinty government of a looming $30 billion deficit.

“Deb Matthews now said she’s committed to improving oversight at ORNGE. I don’t think for a moment that Ontario families would allow someone who has so badly botched her role at the Ministry of Health to have anything more to do with it. It’s too little and much too late,” said Nicholls.