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Re-introduction of Bill to Respect Auditor General’s Authority
Réintroduction d’un projet de loi visant à respecter l’autorité de le vérificateur général

September 7, 2022

MPPs Gélinas and West re-introduce bill to respect Auditor General’s authority

NDP MPPs France Gélinas (Nickel Belt) and Jamie West (Sudbury) are re-introducing a bill on Wednesday to eliminate any future challenges to the role or powers of Ontario’s Auditor General.
The bill is being re-introduced as the Auditor’s powers of investigation can still be challenged by public organizations who “lawyer up”.

The people of Sudbury, and Ontario still wait for the Auditor’s final report on Laurentian University which has been greatly delayed by unnecessary legal challenges; the interim report was issue in April 2022.

“For over a year, the Auditor General was trying to get answers about the root causes of Laurentian University’s bankruptcy” said Gélinas. “What should have been a clear and simple audit of a publicly funded organization, overseen by the provincial government, ended up with many legal challenges to the Auditor’s authority. The Auditor has also filed for an appeal which will cost the people of Ontario a lot of money; all these expenses could be avoided by passing our bill. The current situation is disrespectful to the people of Ontario and has added large legal fees to an already bankrupt institution. The Auditor General has asked for these legislative changes to eliminate any ambiguity about her powers and responsibilities in the future.”

The Auditor General Amendment Act, 2022 will make it even clearer that the Auditor General has the right to request and see any documents she needs to do her work, said MPPs West and Gélinas.

“The people of Sudbury want Laurentian to be successful. They want to help rebuild. However, the University’s lack of transparency delayed this from happening. That made people incredibly frustrated and angry,” said West. “Although the auditor has already released an interim report on the subject of Laurentian University, this bill will ensure the Auditor General can work unimpeded in the future.”

“I was lucky enough to participate in the Canadian Council of Public Accounts Committees (CCPAC) in Ottawa last week. There, I had the opportunity to speak with Auditors and members of public account’s committees from legislatures across the country. After these discussions I am more convinced then ever that we need these legislative changes here in Ontario” stated Gélinas. “Laurentian’s actions hurt the public’s trust in an institution that my community is proud of, we must ensure this never happens again.”