Liberal Mismanagement Exposed in AG Report


Liberal Mismanagement Exposed in AG Report

(Queen’s Park)–The Auditor General has released another critical report of the Liberal government and its ongoing financial mismanagement says Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey.  The latest report details the handling of the Liberal Government’s modernization plan for OLG, which included scrapping the profitable Slots at Race Tracks Program (SARP), cutting more than 140 jobs at Sarnia’s Hiawatha Horse Park, and cancelling about $1.5 million in municipal hosting fees paid to Sarnia each year.

MPP Bailey and his colleagues in the Ontario PC Caucus requested the report to assess the impacts that the government’s plan would have on the gaming industry. The report confirms that the government knew that cancelling SARP would mean fewer race dates, less breeding, less employment and fewer economic benefits to the agriculture industry.

“This report confirms what we have said from the beginning,” noted MPP Bailey. “The Liberal move to terminate SARP was done with no consultation or consideration of the enormous damage it would do to people in the industry.

“The auditor’s report was clear that the Liberal’s decision to cancel SARP was neither open nor transparent and it was widely understood that it would cost thousands of job in Ontario,” added MPP Bailey.

The AG’s report describes the government’s financial projections as “overly optimistic,” noting that the province originally anticipated saving $1.128 billion from cancelling the SARP program; however, after decimating the industry and costing thousands of jobs in rural Ontario, the province was only able to achieve $326 million in savings – 71% less than they anticipated.

“The government’s ‘modernization plan’ hinged on the construction of glitzy new casinos in Toronto and Ottawa, which obviously didn’t happen,” said MPP Bailey. “The Liberals laid waste to thousands of horse-racing jobs and the interests of rural Ontario chasing a fantasy and, sadly, Andrea Horwath and the NDP let them do it by propping up their government for more than two years”.

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