Minister Ignores Premier Wynne's Mandate

QUEEN’S PARK - Randy Hillier, MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington, questioned Minister Michael Coteau (Tourism, Culture & Sport) about whether or not he had any grasp of his responsibilities as Minister, today and yesterday while his Ministry appeared before the Standing Committee on Estimates.

“It has become abundantly clear that the Minister has absolutely no grasp of his responsibilities, his Statutory Obligations, as well as the expectations of transparency Premier Wynne mandated last week,” said Hillier.

“The purpose of the Standing Committee on Estimates is to examine Government expenditures. It makes it impossible to do our job properly when most agencies under the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport haven’t posted an Annual Report since 2011, with two Agencies reports outstanding since 2010.”

When asked to explain why all 16 of the 19 agencies under the Ministry’s purview who have a legal obligation to post their Annual Reports annually, had not yet made public their 2012/2013 annual reports, the Minister could only say that all of the reports which are almost a year and a half over due were still being vetted by his Ministry. Both the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Ontario Place haven’t published an Annual Report since 2010.

Similarly, the Minister was also asked to explain why expenses from Senior Management for the Metro Toronto Convention Centre have not been published for two years. Despite being legally required to publish these quarterly, the Minister claimed it was neither his responsibility nor authority as Minister to ensure that his own Agencies abide by his own Government’s laws.

“In my almost eight years as an MPP I have never seen a Minister be so cavalier in his responsibilities as he did over the past two days,” said Hillier.

“We asked him quite simply if he would own up to his Government’s commitment to transparency and provide the reports we requested, yet he chose instead to hide behind his bureaucracy and an on-going process of obfuscation.”