Premier Ford has expressed outrage over former Premier Kathleen Wynne’s handling of Ontario’s books He is billing it as the “the biggest government scandal in a generation.” Ford’s vow to hold the previous regime accountable came in a speech to caucus delivered days after his finance minister announced the province was dealing with a recently revised $15 billion deficit because of Liberal accounting practices.
Ford said the committee will have the power to call witnesses, compel documents and gather evidence for a final report expected in December.
On Friday, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said the province will have to make sacrifices as it grapples with a $15 billion projected deficit for 2018-2019.
The government is expected to appoint a committee made up of six government members and three NDP legislators to investigate Liberal accounting practices, decision making and policy objectives.
Meanwhile expectedly, the Liberals have disagreed with the auditor general over accounting principles applied to two pensions plans and its Fair Hydro Plan, a situation the fiscal watchdog said meant the province understated its deficit by billions.
A review of spending commissioned by Premier Doug Ford says selling off crown assets to bring short-term cash into provincial coffers could be a game-changer. Among the first to go could be the LCBO.
The review is also pushing for “divestiture” if the business case warrants.
It is a known fact that Ontario has considerable assets that could help balance the books.
For now the provincial government isn’t indicating their next move.
The report also urges the government to reconsider the universality of social programs. -CINEWS