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Ontario auditor general set to probe effectiveness of highway plans, COVID-19 contracts

Bonnie Lysyk, Auditor General of Ontario prepares for her Annual Report news conference at the Ontario Legislature in Toronto on Monday December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Ontario’s auditor general will release a slate of reports on Wednesday probing topics from COVID-19 to climate change.

The auditor general, Bonnie Lysyk, acts as the province’s chief watchdog, with wide-ranging powers to investigate value-for-money across Ontario’s public sector.

Lysyk’s annual report will be tabled in the Ontario legislature at around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday with details of 15 different areas of public spending.

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The report is set to investigate contracts handed out by the province to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as how fair, equitable and cost-effective the province’s historic vaccination campaign was.

As the Ford government forges ahead with plans to build two new highways, Lysyk will assess “efforts to alleviate traffic constraints and to accommodate forecasted population and economic growth by investing in new highway projects.”

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The report will include several environmental portions, a year after releasing several environmentally specific reports.

The following is a full list of the topics Ontario’s auditor general will assess:

  1. Climate Change Adaptation: Reducing Urban Flood Risk
  2. Conserving the Niagara Escarpment
  3. COVID Contracts and Procurement
  4. COVID-19 Vaccination Program
  5. Financial Management in Ontario Universities
  6. Financial Services Regulatory Authority: Regulation of Private Passenger Automobile Insurance, Credit Unions and Pension Plans
  7. Highway Planning and Management
  8. Liquor Control Board of Ontario: Information Technology Procurement
  9. Management of Hazards and Emergencies in the Environment
  10. Management of Invasive Species
  11. Office of the Corporate Chief Information Officer (OCCIO)
  12. Ontario Energy Board: Electricity Oversight and Consumer Protection
  13. Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation: Casinos, Lotteries and Internet Gaming
  14. Ontario Power Generation: Management and Maintenance of Hydroelectric Generating Stations
  15. Real Estate Council of Ontario
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