Auditor General report shows over 80 million taken out of classrooms to pay for negotiations MacLeod

QUEEN’S PARK – PC MPP Lisa MacLeod today questioned the Liberal Government on the over $80 million dollars in payments made by the government to teachers’ unions.

“Earlier today the Auditor General confirmed that your government paid over $80 million dollars in payouts, personal development and other expenses to Ontario’s teachers’ unions,” MacLeod stated. 

In November 2015, MacLeod requested the report be compiled after it was discovered that the Ministry of Education had made $2.5 million in payments to three teachers’ unions, with no accountability mechanisms in place. 

The Auditor General’s report, The Government Payments to Education-Sector Unions, was tabled today and revealed over $80 million in payments made to bargaining units.                                                               

“$22 million of these payments were undocumented,” MacLeod told the Legislature.  “The Liberals took this money out of classrooms, intended for students.”  MacLeod also noted that cuts to special education funding for 38 school boards will total $22.5 million next year.

The Auditor General’s report found few examples of similar payments made in any other region across Canada.

“This is money that could be spent on guidance counsellors, special education supports, and school infrastructure repairs,” added MacLeod. “Instead this money was spent in some cases without receipts, or even without a full picture of the benefit – if any – to Ontario’s classrooms.” 

“This is a Liberal Government that has shown a lack of respect of taxpayer dollars and negligence in ensuring our education system puts students first. ”