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Bill Kelly: The auditor general’s report may be a gift for Ontario opposition parties

Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk speaks during a news conference in the Ontario Legislature in Toronto on Wednesday, June 8, 2016.
Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk speaks during a news conference in the Ontario Legislature in Toronto on Wednesday, June 8, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk‘s assessment of the Wynne government’s budget is bad news for a government that’s lagging in the polls heading into a spring election.

The report suggests that the projected deficit would actually be $11.7 billion, not the $6.7 billion that the government stated.

READ MORE: Ontario auditor general says government understates deficit by billions

This report may as well have been gift wrapped for the NDP and the PCs, who are sure to quote scripture and verse from the report in their attacks on the government.

But, there’s a twist here.

The major bone of contention between the auditor general and the government is Lysyk’s reversal of a long-standing policy that allowed the provincial government to claim their share of the surpluses of two lucrative pension funds as government assets.

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READ MORE: Ontario auditor general to examine health care, school boards, electricity

That change in policy is a big chunk of the difference in the government’s numbers and the AG’s report, and while the NDP and PCs revel in the AG’s criticism of the government, neither one of them has explained how they would deal with the shortfall created by the auditor’s new math.

Experts tell us that the NDP platform numbers are shaky at best and, to this point, the PC party has been long on platitudes and short on details.

And that’s the quandary for voters; while we have major concerns with the government’s plan, we have no indication that the NDP or PC plan would be any better.

Bill Kelly is the host of Bill Kelly Show on AM 900 CHML and a commentator for Global News