What in the world is going on in our government agencies? Today I read of another case of excessive expense claims. This time it’s at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). After the eHealth and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation revelations, one has to wonder if this sort of thing is endemic in our government services and agencies.
Isn’t it time Premier Dalton McGuinty and his cabinet got control of employee spending? Isn’t there already enough indication that the bad practices are probably not limited to a few bad apples, but is pervasive throughout the barrel? Perhaps we should dump the barrel before it smells up the place.
If opposition PCs can find evidence that WSIB chair Steven Mahoney billed taxpayers for $140,000 in expenses last year, including thousands of dollars for limos and for meals where he had no meetings, how come government ministers have no clue what is going on under their noses? And, if they do know about these reckless spending habits, why aren’t they telling taxpayers?
Conservative MPP Christine Elliott said today that Mahoney made expense claims for “travel to China, Australia, Hong Kong and elsewhere. She claims “he travelled so much, he got lost in Myrtle Beach, where he billed four days for one day of meetings, and then expensed a GPS system.” Shameful!
Just the sort of thing we need to hear while thousands of ordinary Ontarians are out of work and struggling to make ends meet.
According to a report by CBC News, “Labour Minister Peter Fonseca said the expenses were reviewed and acceptable under the policy in effect at the time. ‘There is total recognition by the WSIB and our government that there are new policies in place’.”
How is this acceptable and have those responsible for making the old rules been held accountable for their incompetence? These are questions that fall on deaf ears at Queens Park. Cabinet ministers are figure heads who draw large salaries, benefits and perks, but take no real responsibility for any wrongdoing within their ministries.
It’s all one big swindle by the friends and agents of this ineffective government. Mismanagement and bewilderment are hallmarks of this government’s term and a half in office.