RYAN DOYLE

Honesty & Transparency out the window

Posted By: Ryan Doyle · 12/3/2013 1:30:00 PM
A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity. Words once uttered by the Dalai Lama, although I'm sure his holiness didn't have Ontario's Liberal government in mind when he said them.

That said, taxpayers in Ontario have EVERY right to feel that sense of insecurity.

On any given day it has become far too easy to find a festering scandal that involves the Province's Liberal government, and the last few days have been no exception.
 
Ontario's Ornge Air Ambulance system, that provides medical transport for ill and critically injured patients, has been plagued with controversy largely due to their former CEO Dr. Chris Mazza.
 
Mazza was fired as CEO of Ornge early last year after he set up a complex web of spin-off companies that are still the subject of a special investigation by Ontario Provincial Police.
 
Ornge, which gets about $150 million from taxpayers, had been under fire over what opposition critics say are sky-high salaries, financial irregularities and allegations of kickbacks.
 
Then yesterday's bombshell.
 
The accounting Ornge prepared for a provincial government audit team revealed Mazza was paid much more than previously known.
In fact the embattled CEO was paid $9.3 million in public money over a period of six years, before being dismissed.
 
The logical question you are likely asking is how does this happen without the government knowing, but instead of there being a logical answer we are left with a trail of government incompetence and SHOCKING mismanagement.
 
According to the Toronto Star Mazza got $1 million in 2007, the second year of Ornge's operation. But the Ontario government's so-called "sunshine list" stated Mazza got close to $300,000 that year.
 
That "sunshine list" is there for YOU the taxpayer, to keep the public sector honest and transparent, but it was manipulated.
There were also previous reports that  Mazza set up a series of for-profit companies that helped shield his and other executives' salaries from public disclosure and that he diverted money to them from Ornge, which is non-profit.
 
The bottom line to all of this is the government got played for fools, and by extension taxpayers were on the hook for millions.
 
The embarrassment doesn't stop there.
 
In 2011, the government sent a forensic audit team into Ornge to probe allegations over these financial irregularities. This was their way of showing voters that they were going to get to the bottom of things.
 
When the findings of that audit came in, Ontario's Health Minister Deb Matthews decided...not to read it.
 
That's right. 
 
The Province was so interested in finding out how they had been duped, that the Minister who ordered the audit in the first place decided to pass it along...as opposed to sitting down to see what went wrong.
 
Instead Matthews learned about the millions Dr. Mazza made by reading yesterday's newspaper, information that was sitting on her desk a year ago.
 
Not that this story isn't infuriating enough, but the cherry on this foul tasting, taxpayer funded sundae is what has become of Dr. Mazza. He is now back collecting public money by  working in the emergency room of a Thunder Bay hospital.
 
Guess the millions he has already collected just wasn't enough.
 
Stories like this one are bound to shake the public trust in government, whatever trust still remains.
 
Most of us work hard for our money each day and don't have time to worry about how every single tax dollar we pay is being spent. 
 
We elect a government to make sure our interests are looked after and that the services we need are being provided at a fair and reasonable price. 
 
Trust, transparency and security,  they aren't just buzz words for reports and forensic audits that are written and remain unread.  As for the unholy alliance that is the liberal party,  maybe one day,  maybe the next scandal,  the public will grow uneasy with the insecurity they have caused and finally see the light.

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  2. Rushi posted on 01/08/2014 09:41 PM
    Hi there,
    I always listen to your show while I drive home from work...tonight I was hit by your question of employers asking for sick notes. My manager for last 5 years has been asking for sick notes for 1 day of sick leave, she wouldn't sign the payment form until the sick note is attached to the form. If u didn't see the doctor, should make an appointment to get the sick note and pay the doctor for the note. She would trust the employees with all the work, leaving the office to them for 20 minutes but when they are sick they are lying .....I hope somehow she listens to this which I doubt.
  3. Bob Smith posted on 04/03/2014 01:03 PM
    Good show yesterday.

    Hope you're back on Friendly Fire soon -- they're missing Stories of the Day and other hosts have been screwing up yours and John Downs' names.

    Need you back at nights, Ryan...
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