News

Highlights of 2015 Ontario auditor general's annual report

TORONTO – Here are the highlights of the 2015 report by Ontario auditor general Bonnie Lysyk:

– Ontario electricity consumers are paying billions of dollars more for the Liberal government’s decision to ignore its own planning process for new power generation projects

– The electricity portion of hydro bills for homes and small-businesses rose 70 per cent between 2006 and 2014, which cost consumers $37 billion dollars in so-called Global Adjustment payments to generators

– Hydro customers will pay a total of $9.2 billion more for wind and solar projects under the Liberal’s 20-year guaranteed-price program for renewable energy than they would have paid under the old program

– Many elderly and disabled Ontarians are not getting much-needed home-care services on time, with some waiting more than a year just for assessments

– The level of home-care services that Community Care Access Centres provide vary widely across the province, as each CCAC develops its own criteria because of funding inequities

– None of Ontario’s 14 Local Health Integration Networks has ever met all of the targets in 15 performance areas, so the Ministry of Health kept relaxing their targets

– In the long-term care sector, Lysyk found the ministry did complete comprehensive inspections of Ontario’s 630 facilities and will continue to do so annually.

– A backlog of critical incident and complaint inspections at Ontario’s 630 long-term care homes doubled between December 2013 and March 2015

– Some of Ontario’s 47 Children’s Aid Societies take too long to complete investigations of possible abuse and the government lacks sufficient information about the quality of care they provide

– The government isn’t doing enough to encourage more mining development, especially the mineral-rich Ring of Fire project, located about 500 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay

– The province needs to develop a long-term plan for inspecting and rehabilitating 4,400 abandoned mine sites, which the government estimates could cost anywhere between $163 million to $782 million

– There is little co-ordination between various ministries of the billions of dollars given to companies to help create jobs and no follow-up to see if the jobs last after the funding ends

– The province does not track the total funding ministries and agencies invest in research and development — over $1.9 billion given to universities over the past five years — and doesn’t evaluate the impact of the funded research