QUEEN’S PARK — Green Party of Ontario leader and Guelph MPP, Mike Schreiner, released the following statement in response to the release of the Auditor General’s report:
“The Auditor General’s report reminds us why government oversight is so important. That is why I’m so worried about the Ford government’s efforts to eliminate 3 independent officers of the legislature and threaten the suspension of all legislative officers.
Reactions to TSSA
Lack of oversight from the TSSA puts public safety and the environment at risk. This raises serious questions about why the Premier would waive Ontario’s veto over pipeline projects given the serious concerns the Auditor General has raised about pipeline safety.
The TSSA is failing to inspect 111,300 natural gas and oil pipelines, giving industry too much authority to self-regulate. Yet Premier Ford wants more pipelines and less independent oversight from the Environmental Commissioner. This is a direct threat to our drinking water and public health.
Reactions to transit
Political interference in our transit system is out of control and making gridlock worse. The situation will only deteriorate with a Premier who puts ideology before evidence. The Premier must reverse course on his plan for suburban subways before a relief line is in place to handle additional ridership as transit experts recommend.
I urge the Premier to listen to the Auditor General’s advice to act transparently and follow expert transit recommendations.
Reactions to government advertising
I’m calling on the government to restore Auditor General oversight of government advertising and to review whether this oversight should apply to social media and especially the Premier’s propaganda network.
Reactions to Assistive Devices
The lack of oversight of the Assistive Devices Program puts access to essential medical assistive devices at risk. Some vendors are gaming the system on the backs of taxpayers. We need more oversight, not less, so that we have the resources to get people the assistive devices they need in a timely manner and at a fair price.
Reactions to ODSP
It’s incredibly troubling that we are wasting taxpayer money on court battles between Legal Aid and ODSP over the denial of benefits to people who need them. How can the government defend its decision to shrink the definition of ‘disability’ when the AG report shows that ODSP is already too restrictive?
The AG report also strengthens the case for a Basic Income Guarantee, noting the time and money being wasted on paperwork. Yet the very solution designed to cut red tape for people in poverty and free up time for caseworkers was cancelled by the Ford government with zero evidence to support the decision.
The AG report is a reminder that we need to strengthen oversight, not weaken it. I’m calling on the Ford government to reverse sections in Bill 57 that eliminate 3 independent officers who provide oversight for the environment, vulnerable children and French language services. And I’m calling on the government to remove sections that threaten the independence of all legislative officers.”