Yet another scandal emerges for Ontario grits
If Dalton McGuinty thought that things couldn't possibly get any worse for his government, he should have thought again.
Hot on the heels of the eHealth scandal, a spending scandal swirling around the Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation and the arrest of McGuinty's former Attorney General, Michael Bryant, comes revelations that the Municipal Property Assessment Corproation has broken its own spending rules.
According to MPAC rules, it isn't allowed to extend existing contracts for more than double their original value. MPAC has been extending contracts for five to fourteen times their original value.
In fact, the McGuinty government is so out-to-lunch in regards to some of these scandals that Finance Minister Dwight Duncan's office claimed this hadn't reached his attention by the time it reached the Globe and Mail's.
It gets worse when one realizes that the report in question actually deals with MPAC's procurement practices between 2005 and 2006.
"Quite frankly, it's not a reflection of our current practices at all," said MPAC Vice President (corporate and human resources) Gerry Stuart, who said that the report was out of date. "In 2005, we did not have the same policies and diligence and oversight that we have today."
This is, frankly, the kind of situation that makes one wonder just what, precisely, goes on in Dalton McGuinty's government. When coupled with the fact that David Caplan was actually promoted to Health Minister after the OLGC went so badly awry under his tenure and that he would go on to let the eHealth scandal slip his radar, it seems that accountability is quickly becoming an issue for McGuinty for his government.
Even Michael Bryant's recent legal troubles may be (somewhat) undeservedly troublesome for McGuinty. Although Bryant's reported actions have little or nothing to do with the Ontario Liberals, save casting further doubt on McGuinty's judgement.
Conservative party leader Tim Hudak had recently speculated that the eHealth scandal and OLGC scandals were "just the tip of the iceberg".
It's quickly becoming obvious that the Liberal party not only has no ability to manage the various crown corporations under its control, but has no ability to hold cabinet ministers accountable for their actions.
Before long Dalton McGuinty may have no choice but to call an election so the citizens of Ontario can judge his government and, if need be, replace it.
Other bloggers writing about this topic:
Brian Gardiner - "Dalton's Culture of Corruption"