Wynne Liberals lining the board of their secret home care agency with insider friends

The Wynne Liberals’ controversial, new home care agency came under fire again this morning at Queen’s Park. During Question Period, the Ontario PCs pointed out that Liberal insider Barry Monaghan has been tasked to head the agency.

Barry Monaghan is no stranger to controversy. He previously served as the CEO of the Toronto Central LHIN, where he earned $1.1 million in salary over a three year period.  Despite resigning the position in 2007, Monaghan was paid $351,000 in salary the following year. While collecting this salary, Monaghan received a $104,000 consulting contract from the Mississauga-Halton LHIN.

“Barry Monaghan’s sweetheart contracts have already taken more than $455,000 out of needed care. How much more money will be taken out of the front-lines while Barry Monaghan gets rich?” said Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown. “How can the people of Ontario trust this agency to get it right when they are stacking the agency with Kathleen Wynne`s insiders?”

The Liberals have been unable or unwilling to answer basic questions about this new agency, including whether or not it will benefit Service Employees International Union (SEIU), an insider group with cozy ties to the Ontario Liberal Party that has been bankrolling a smear campaign against Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown.

The Liberals tried to bury the announcement of this new agency as a bullet at the bottom of a press release, but industry associations were quick to catch on and blast the move as unnecessarily bureaucratic and taking resources out of front-line care.

“The whole thing doesn’t pass the smell test. The whole thing smacks of shady ‘I scratch your back, you scratch mine’ politics,” added Brown. “The Wynne Liberals need to come clean about this secret, new agency today.”

The Ontario PCs have been calling on the Wynne Liberals to release all of the documents surrounding this agency, and to this point the Liberals have refused to hand them over.

Timeline of Events:

  • November 18th-20th, 2016: Michael Spitale, SEIU Healthcare’s lobbyist, is acclaimed as the President of the Ontario Liberal Party at their AGM.
  • April 27th, 2017: The Wynne Liberals release the 2017 Budget which includes a mandatory registry and training program for Personal Support Workers (PSWs) that will be an exclusive partnership with SEIU.
  • May 19th, 2017: OPSEU and OPSWA blast the registry and training program for PSWs, with Smokey Thomas saying “This whole affair smacks of shady inside relationships that dangerously erode union democracy and the rights of workers to choose.”
  • July 6th, 2017: Michael Spitale resigns as President of the Ontario Liberal Party, because according to a party spokesperson he “has agreed to take on more responsibilities within the union.”
  • September 20th, 2017: Working Ontario Women registers as a not-for-profit
  • October 5th, 2017: The Wynne Liberals announce the creation of the new home care agency as a bullet buried at the bottom of a press release.
  • October 12th, 2017: Working Ontario Women launches their new ad blitz with an exclusive story in the Toronto Star.
  • November 6th, 2017: The CBC first reports on the new home care agency, and interviews stakeholders concerned about the changes.
  • November 7th, 2017: Connections are made between SEIU and the new home care organization.
  • November 7th, 2017: After answering many questions at an unrelated media avail, Premier Wynne ducks questions about this secret new agency, passing off the questions to her Minister of Health.
  • November 9th, 2017: Ontario’s third party advertising limits kick in.