Wynne has much to answer for on Pan Am spending
During Question Period today, NDP Tourism, Culture and Sport Critic, Paul Miller, demanded accountability from Premier Wynne following the Auditor General’s report that found the Liberal government went $342 million over budget on the PanAm and ParaPanAm games – paying out more than $5 million in executive bonuses with little to no accountability.
“Seven months ago, this government had the audacity to claim that the Pan Am Games had come in under budget. Enough is enough. We can’t trust even simple arithmetic from this government,” said Miller.
“Who will the Premier hold accountable for wasting over $300 million of provincial money? At a time when Ontario Hospitals have a $3.2 billion dollar backlog of maintenance, when they’re being forced to fire health care workers, that $342 million could have been spent on priorities like, health care.”
This morning, the Auditor General revealed that the Pan Am Games went shockingly over budget. Ontario’s original budget for the Games was $500 million. The cost so far is $804 million, 61 per cent over budget and climbing.
“The incompetence is incredible,” Miller said, and cited the Auditor General’s report: “The other funding partners for the Pan Am Games: the federal government, the municipalities, and the universities in total contributed 96 per cent of their 2009 commitment.”
“Everyone else managed to stay within budget, but this government went 61 per cent over its budget. How can the Premier possibly excuse this?” Miller said.
To make matters worse, the TO 2015 board decided last August to award full executive bonuses, despite the interim figures not being in, and despite being fully aware that it had gone over its operating budget.
“Why did the Premier authorize some of the highest bonuses on the Sunshine List, when she should have known that TO 2015 had spent well over budget?” Miller said. “In light of the Auditor General’s findings, will the Premier demand that Pan Am executives pay that part of their bonuses they did not earn back to the people of Ontario?”