Liberals defend creation of controversial new agency benefitting key Wynne ally

Experts say agency will benefit Liberal insider group that is bankrolling attack ad campaign against Patrick Brown

This morning at a media avail featuring the Premier and Minister of Health, the Wynne Liberals defended the creation of a secret new home care agency that would benefit Liberal-friendly SEIU.

Industry leaders have said the “the biggest beneficiary of a new government-run home-care agency will not be the patients receiving home care, but one particular union: SEIU Healthcare,” which is currently bankrolling Working Ontario Women, an organization running a baseless attack ad campaign against Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown.

Rather than tout the creation of this new agency, the Liberals buried it quietly last month. However, industry experts and home care agencies were quick to catch on and have since blasted the change. The head of the Ontario Personal Support Worker Association has said, “to be honest I don’t know how this is going to work,” and the Chair of Patients Canada has said, “Why don't they let there just be more choice and flexibility in the existing home care set up?”

Home Care Ontario has criticized the consultation process saying, “We don’t understand why we have not been informed and consulted,” and urged the government to stop the implementation.

While getting grilled by media, Minister Hoskins referenced the new mandatory Personal Support Workers registry. When the registry was first announced, OPSEU President Smokey Thomas pointed to SEIU’s close relationship to the Ontario Liberal Party, and said “This whole affair smacks of shady inside relationships that dangerously erode union democracy and the rights of workers to choose.”

“Life is good for Kathleen Wynne and her insider friends, and they will do or say anything to keep it that way,” said Ontario PC Ethics and Accountability Critic Steve Clark. “The creation of this secret new agency that industry experts say will line the pockets of SEIU happens to come the same month that the Wynne Liberal insider group launched a smear campaign against Patrick Brown.”

“This appears to be nothing more than ‘I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine’ politics at its finest.”