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Bill Kelly: Auditor general’s report shows Ford government’s poor leadership amid COVID-19 crisis

Click to play video 'Ontario’s auditor general tables damning report on provincial government’s COVID-19 response' Ontario’s auditor general tables damning report on provincial government’s COVID-19 response
An extraordinary report from the province's auditor general on the Ontario government’s COVID-19 response led to an extraordinary news conference with Premier Doug Ford taking aim at Bonnie Lysyk’s work. Travis Dhanraj reports – Nov 25, 2020

Ontario auditor general Bonnie Lysyk has released her report on how the Ford government has handled the COVID-19 crisis, and it’s a damning assessment of mismanagement and poor leadership.

The auditor general cites confusing and contradictory information from the Ford government and the chief medical officer, Dr. David Williams.

In fact, Williams was the focus of much of the AG’s negative review, to the point of questioning if Williams is the right choice for the job.

Read more: ‘Delays and confusion in decision-making’ impacted Ontario’s COVID-19 response, AG says

The report cites an assessment from the Canadian Medical Association Journal that found that messaging in Ontario about the pandemic was less co-ordinated and inconsistent compared to British Columbia.

The report goes on to say that the province’s poor performance left local health units with a confused message, which made their job at the local level much more difficult.

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There’s much more in the report that shows the poor performance of the Ford administration and the chief medical officer and how those shortcomings have hampered  Ontario’s pandemic response.

Click to play video 'Health experts say they feel ‘vindicated’ by Ontario auditor general’s report' Health experts say they feel ‘vindicated’ by Ontario auditor general’s report
Health experts say they feel ‘vindicated’ by Ontario auditor general’s report – Nov 25, 2020

What’s more troubling is that the Ford government has circled the wagons and refuses to admit any culpability.

Its defence of its poor performance is that it could have been much worse.

That’s cold comfort to the families who have lost loved ones to this pandemic or those whose businesses have been decimated.

Many communities and businesses feel they’ve been forced into a pandemic purgatory because of the government’s inconsistent messaging.

Instead of defending the indefensible, the government should accept the AG’s findings and figure out how to do it better.

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Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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