The Wynne Liberals will be breaking their own law if they don’t release a Pre-Election Report on Ontario’s finances before the election, Ontario PC Finance Critic Vic Fedeli said today.
“It’s suspicious. When the Liberals passed this law in 2004 they were eager to release their own financial numbers and projections. Now, 15 years later and after much controversy about their numbers, they want to hide everything,” said Fedeli. “Nothing about this government’s numbers are prudent and cautious, which is why they’re being cagey about releasing this Pre-Election report on Ontario’s finances.”
The requirement for this report was first outlined in the Fiscal Transparency and Accountability Act, 2004, with the goal of providing a three-year outlook of Ontario's finances including revenue and spending projections ahead of an election. The government complied before the 2007, 2011 and 2014 elections, with sufficient time for the Auditor General to review the reports and release statements.
“Why won’t the government commit this time? A lukewarm response is not sufficient. Today I’m calling on Minister Charles Sousa to follow the law and release the report,” added Fedeli. “It’s now more important than ever, given the government has been pulling the wool over our eyes on the state of their finances and projections. Just this week the Financial Accountability Office showed that Ontario is working with three sets of books, which is ridiculous. We need one set of books, which is precisely why they must release this Pre-Election Report.”
On page 69 of the Auditor General’s report, the government suggests only that it “may” comply with its own law, pass a regulation, and release their pre-election Finance Report.
“Families need to be able to trust what the government says about our finances. They deserve a true fiscal picture,” concluded Fedeli.