QUEEN’S PARK – Premier Wynne’s government is once again withholding key information about the state of Ontario’s finances, Nipissing MPP and Finance Critic Vic Fedeli stated today.
The Fiscal Transparency and Accountability Act requires the Minister of Finance to release updated quarterly information on Ontario’s finances. This includes updated information about the major components of government revenues and how taxpayer funds are being spent.
Despite the legal requirement, Minister Charles Sousa has failed to provide this year’s 3rdquarter fiscal update by the February 15, 2017 deadline. In fact, the government has failed to ever provide 3rd quarter fiscal updates since 2012, repeatedly withholding important financial information from the media, opposition, and taxpayers.
“The failure of the Wynne government to release legally-mandated economic and fiscal data has become a highly troubling pattern,” said Fedeli. “Overall, this government has only provided one 3rd quarter fiscal update in nine years. This shows a complete disrespect for taxpayer dollars.”
“As this government continues to rack up Ontario’s debt in excess of $300 billion, including nearly $1 billion in annual interest payments, it’s clear they have something to hide,” added Fedeli.
Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer (FAO) has warned of the Wynne government’s “broader pattern” of secrecy and refusal to provide information was making it “difficult to assess the plausibility of the government’s financial projections and to evaluate risks that those projections would not be met.”
“They canceled the gas plant scandal hearings, removed Legislative Officer oversight over Hydro One, and regularly stonewall the FAO and Auditor General from receiving necessary information,” said Fedeli.
“This latest failure to provide an important and legally-mandated fiscal update further confirms what we already know – this government is neither open nor transparent,” he concluded.