Ontario auditor general to examine health care, school boards, electricity
Ontario Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk answers questions about her 2016 annual report at Queen's Park in Toronto on Wednesday, November 30, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Allison Jones, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, December 5, 2017 10:32AM EST
TORONTO -- Ontario's auditor general is set to release her annual report Wednesday, with several sections looking at the province's health-care sector.
Bonnie Lysyk's report this year dedicates five of her 14 value-for-money audits to aspects of health, including cancer treatment services, community health centres, health lab services, public drug programs and public health.
It will examine whether Cancer Care Ontario is ensuring cancer treatments are provided in a timely, cost-efficient and fair way, whether accurate lab test results are being provided in a timely manner, and if people receiving public drug coverage get timely and cost-effective access to drugs and pharmacy services.
Lysyk also dedicates two sections to school boards, examining both whether they are using operating funds properly and whether the government has effective oversight to ensure they are doing so.
Another area of the massive report will look at whether the Independent Electricity System Operator and the Ontario Energy Board are sufficiently overseeing electricity generators and if they are playing by the rules.
Lysyk has previously skewered the Liberal government's handling of the electricity sector, concluding both that customers paid $37 billion for the government's decisions to ignore its own planning process for new power projects, and that a $2-billion smart meter program spent double its projected costs and didn't ensure electricity conservation goals were met.
Her conclusions about the smart meter program led then-energy minister Bob Chiarelli to say the auditor's numbers were less credible than his because the electricity system is complex and difficult to understand. Lysyk spent 10 years working at Manitoba Hydro.
That was one of the first times the Liberal government publicly clashed with Lysyk, but it has been far from the last. She has also frequently criticized their revamp of advertising rules, suggesting that partisan ads are now being funded by taxpayer dollars. And last year she and the government were locked in a dispute about how public pension surpluses should appear on the books.
Lysyk has dedicated additional sections in this year's report to both public accounts and government advertising.
The report will also examine the Ontario Municipal Board, emergency management, farm support programs, Crown-owned real estate, settlement and integration services for newcomers, and affordable housing.