Now all of this is politics as usual, except we are talking about hundred-of-millions-of-dollars belonging to the tax-paying public, and which may never be recovered. From this perspective it is arrogance of an astonishing level, and shameful if not negligent behaviour on the part of a minister of the crown.
Here, thanks to Tanya Talaga of the Toronto Star Newspaper, is what took place.
The memo was from Malcom Bates, director of the ministry’s emergency health services branch, dated June 29, 2011.
The letter warns senior ministry staff that the government may have to step in and assume massing debt at ORNGE. It also mentions a $4.3 million loan receivable where “taxpayer dollars” have been lent out and it discusses the jump in ORNGE’s capital assets. They rose from $96.4 million to $264 million and cite “assets under construction” as the reason for the rise.
“We do not have additional information on this — we assume this is planes that are not completed but are in progress,” the letter stated.
Matthews told the committee she has never seen Bates letter before.
Klees retorted back that he found it “passing strange” she had not seen it and questioned why.
“What are you hiding?” he questioned her.
Often, Liberal committee members jumped in to stop Klees as he questioned Matthews.
The health minister said Klees has a history of dropping information bombs that turn out to be untrue.
“On behalf of the frontline staff, the paramedics, pilots, the engineers, all 600 staff — would you stop running down the organization and be part of the solution? I am hungry for this committee to finish its work and write its report … I’d like the recommendations of the committee,” she said.
Klees shouted back his recommendations would be, “first of all start with your resignation.”
This is not surprising coming from the McGuinty administration, of course, for when it comes to arrogance, and downright lying there are few that can match McGuinty himself. In my opinion he and Mathews are birds of a feather that should be put on the endangered species list!