Ontario PCs say this “cozy” relationship dangerously erodes democracy
Following reports that the Liberal Government is creating a controversial, new home care agency that could benefit a key Wynne ally, the PCs are blasting the Liberals for policy-making that is eroding Ontario’s democracy.
Sources within the health care industry say the largest beneficiary of this new agency won’t be the patients, but SEIU Healthcare, which is well-known for their “cozy ties” to the Ontario Liberal Party.
SEIU is bankrolling Working Ontario Women, a front-group running a massive attack ad campaign against Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown.
“The Ontario PCs can take a punch. We knew all along that taking down a politically corrupt party would get ugly,” said Ontario PC Ethics and Accountability Critic and Deputy Leader Steve Clark who called on the Wynne Liberals to release the following:
- Confirmation from the Wynne Liberals if the creation of this secret agency had anything to do with the Working Ontario Women ads we are seeing on the airwaves;
- The immediate release of the details of any meetings the Wynne Liberals have had with SEIU in the last couple of months;
- The immediate release of details of any and all consultations the Wynne Liberals had with stakeholder organizations during the creation of this new, secret agency; and
- The immediate release of information showing how this new agency will improve patient care.
“Clearly the creation of this secret agency was a political decision. Everyone in the industry knows it,” says PC MPP Jeff Yurek. “Kathleen Wynne’s been caught making policy that’s bad for Ontario and good for their insider friends.”
Yurek noted that the Wynne Liberals tried to bury this announcement as a bullet at the bottom of a press release, and pointed out that organizations like Patients Canada, Home Care Ontario, and the Ontario Personal Support Workers Association have been critical.
“For years, this Liberal Government has looked out for the interests of insiders and the well-connected first, leaving everyday Ontario families working harder, paying more, and getting less,” said PC MPP Lisa Thompson (Huron-Bruce). “Life is good for Kathleen Wynne and her insider friends, and they will do or say anything to keep it that way.”
"The people of Ontario deserve answers. They deserve better than this ‘I scratch your back, you scratch mine’ culture of politics," concluded Clark. "They deserve to know whether or not their tax dollars are going towards the purchasing of Liberal attack ads."
Timeline of Events:
- November 18th-20th, 2016: Michael Spitale, SEIU Healthcare’s lobbyist, is acclaimed as the President of the Ontario Liberal Party at their AGM.
- April 27th, 2017: The Wynne Liberals release the 2017 Budget which includes a mandatory registry and training program for Personal Support Workers (PSWs) that will be an exclusive partnership with SEIU.
- May 19th, 2017: OPSEU and OPSWA blast the registry and training program for PSWs, with Smokey Thomas saying “This whole affair smacks of shady inside relationships that dangerously erode union democracy and the rights of workers to choose.”
- July 6th, 2017: Michael Spitale resigns as President of the Ontario Liberal Party, because according to a party spokesperson he “has agreed to take on more responsibilities within the union.”
- September 20th, 2017: Working Ontario Women registers as a not-for-profit
- October 5th, 2017: The Wynne Liberals announce the creation of the new home care agency as a bullet buried at the bottom of a press release.
- October 12th, 2017: Working Ontario Women launches their new ad blitz with an exclusive story in the Toronto Star.
- November 6th, 2017: The CBC first reports on the new home care agency, and interviews stakeholders concerned about the changes.
- November 7th, 2017: Connections are made between SEIU and the new home care organization.
- November 9th, 2017: Ontario’s third party advertising limits kick in.