December 7, 2017 9:06 am
Updated: December 7, 2017 10:53 am

Bill Kelly: Why we need auditor general reports

Wed, Dec 6: Sick days are up by 29 per cent over a five-year-period at 50 of Ontario's public school boards - from nine days to 11.6 days per average employee - causing financial and resource allocation pressures. Shallima Maharaj reports.

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It’s understandable that governments don’t like auditor general reports.

They would much prefer that we, the public, simply accept the upbeat and positive media releases that tell us that our government is doing a wonderful job of spending our tax dollars.

But the auditor general’s job is to wipe the lipstick off the pig and give us an objective assessment of the government’s financial picture, and it’s usually not very flattering.

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ANALYSIS: Ontario’s auditor her own worst enemy

Such is the case with Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk‘s latest assessment of Ontario’s finances.

For instance, we already knew that the government spends about fifty cents of every tax dollar on health care, but it’s how that money is spent that causes the greater concern.

Millions of dollars are spent sending cancer patients across the border for treatments that Ontario doesn’t offer.

Tens of millions could be saved by using generic medications as many other jurisdictions now do, and of course, there’s the ever-present concern about unacceptable wait times for cancer treatments.

READ MORE: Auditor general finds Ontarians pay millions for ineligible power generator costs

The report gives a no-holds-barred assessment of questionable government spending in many areas.

Of course, the government will dispute many of the conclusions in the auditor’s report; they always do, but the numbers don’t lie.

The auditor general’s report is the hammer we need to demand that this government, or anyone who wants to be the next government, must do a better job of spending our money.

Bill Kelly is the host of Bill Kelly Show on AM 900 CHML.

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