Re­port high­lights

The Chatham Daily News - - NEWS -

• The num­ber of peo­ple on so­cial as­sis­tance has jumped by 25 per cent since 2009. In each of the last five years, only 10 to 13 per cent of re­cip­i­ents gained em­ploy­ment and left the pro­gram.

• Costs for On­tario’s Stu­dent As­sis­tance Pro­gram (OSAP) jumped by 25 per cent in 20172018 over the pre­vi­ous year.

• A se­ries of changes to Metrolinx’ light-rail pro­jects in the Toronto and Greater Hamil­ton Area cost $436 mil­lion. Au­di­tor gen­eral Bon­nie Lysyk blames the mu­nic­i­pal and provin­cial gov­ern­ments for the loss, say­ing they made changes to pro­jects af­ter they’d been ap­proved.

• Wait times for MRI and CT scans vary across the prov­ince. In 20172018, 90 per cent of non-ur­gent pa­tients in one of health net­work waited up to 203 days for an MRI, and up to 127 days for a CT scan. If all 108 MRI ma­chines in On­tario hos­pi­tals op­er­ated 16 hours a day, seven days a week, the prov­ince’s wait-time tar­gets could be met.

• The for­mer Lib­eral gov­ern­ment spent $62 mil­lion in ad­ver­tis­ing in 2017-2018 — the most since 2006-2007 — and about 30 per cent of that spend­ing was par­ti­san in na­ture.

• Le­gal Aid On­tario spends $20 mil­lion a year fight­ing for clients try­ing to ac­cess, or ap­peal de­ci­sions, re­lated to the On­tario Dis­abil­ity Sup­port Pro­gram. Lysyk says it’s hard to jus­tify the cost of the le­gal fights be­tween dif­fer­ent arms of gov­ern­ment.

• The Tech­ni­cal Stan­dards and Safety Author­ity, which pro­motes and en­forces pub­lic safety, is fail­ing in nearly ev­ery as­pect of its man­date. Most el­e­va­tors are not in com­pli­ance with safety laws.

• The prov­ince is pay­ing con­sul­tants to do work that could be done by full-time em­ploy­ees.

• Over the last five years, on av­er­age, the Min­istry of Health re­im­bursed On­tario res­i­dents just five cents for ev­ery dol­lar they were billed by for­eign doc­tors dur­ing out-of-coun­try travel.

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