Time to say 'no' to wasting taxpayers' money



    Tory points to $11 million in non-travel hotel expenses as yet another
    example of McGuinty gov't waste

    TORONTO, Aug. 27 /CNW/ - Ontario Progressive Conservative Party Leader
John Tory today said there is no excuse for Dalton McGuinty's government to
have spent millions of dollars of taxpayers' money on five-star resorts and
meeting rooms, some of which are just across the street from government
offices.
    "There is nothing more frustrating for taxpayers than seeing governments
spend their money recklessly," said Tory. "Today we have yet another example
of Dalton McGuinty thinking taxpayers' money is monopoly money. His attitude
just seems to be 'there's more where that came from.'"
    The Ontario Government's public accounts show Dalton McGuinty's
government spent over $11 million in hotel bills alone in 2006/2007, many of
them in downtown Toronto. The $11 million figure is above-and-beyond the
$91 million that the Ontario government spent last year on travel, including
travel-related hotel expenses. Tory pointed to the reckless spending during a
Toronto news conference where he walked from a block of government offices to
the Sutton Place Hotel, where the McGuinty Liberals have spent over $500,000
in the last year.
    The revelations come just days after it emerged that Attorney General
Michael Bryant authorized over $700,000 in spending so prosecutors and judges
could attend two conferences at Blue Mountain and Deerhurst Resorts.
    "When the Government of Ontario has over 11 million square feet of office
and meeting space sitting empty in Toronto, how can they justify wasting this
kind of money?" Tory asked. "To put that spending in perspective, the
$11 million Mr. McGuinty's government spent on hotel rooms would have paid for
de-listed eye exams for 74,354 Ontarians."
    Tory also revealed that Dalton McGuinty's Education Ministry spent more
than $2.3 million on hotels in 2006/07 alone instead of putting that money
into classrooms. That's almost double the $1.2 million the Ministry spent in
2005/06.
    "In 2003, when he was fishing for votes, Dalton McGuinty told the people
of Ontario that he would stop the waste of taxpayers' money," said Tory. "Yet,
Mr. McGuinty shoveled more than $2.7 billion in year end spending last year,
including $32 million to groups, many with Liberal ties, in a process that the
Province's Auditor General described as 'the worst he's ever seen.' Ontarians
are still waiting for him to keep his word."

    
    A John Tory PC Government will put an end to the reckless, unchecked
spending of the McGuinty government by:

        -  Requiring quarterly financial statements from each Ministry;
        -  Requiring multi-year strategic plans for the entire government;
        -  Appointing Chief Financial Officers with the responsibility for
           tracking and managing taxpayers' money; and,
        -  Creating an independent Legislative Budget Office to prevent
           government from distorting budget numbers while demonstrating more
           accountability to elected parliamentarians.
    

    "Governments and those who lead them have a responsibility to treat
taxpayers and their money with respect," Tory said. "It's time for a
government that plays by the rules and is open and honest about where taxpayer
dollars are going. It's time for a change of attitude which starts at the top.
As Premier, I will say the days of $11 million worth of taxpayer-financed
hotel rooms are over. I will say to politicians and public servants: don't
tell me it can't be done; tell me how it can be done."
    Tory added: "It's time for a Premier who invests in the priorities that
matter to taxpayers - like better healthcare, better education, safer
communities and an economy that provides each and every Ontarian with the
opportunity to realize their dreams."
    For putting an end to government waste, leadership matters.





For further information:

For further information: Brendan Howe, (416) 325-0412

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