Toronto Life

To Catch a Thief

- Please email your comments to letters@torontolif­ All comments may be edited for accuracy, length and clarity.

Readers were both riveted and infuriated by our exposé on Sanjay Madan, the Ontario bureaucrat who reportedly embezzled tens of millions of dollars at Queen’s Park. “Should be imprisoned for life,” “Stealing millions of dollars from kids! Heartless,” “Special place in hell…” and “Cowardly, whining sociopath!” were among the many heated responses, as well as “Wow, what a scheme” and “Best article I’ve read all week.”

“You have to imagine that the issues raised in your ‘Easy Money’ article are the talk of the Ontario Public Service and have been for quite some time now. What Sanjay Madan engaged in gives civil servants and public service a bad name.

“What I found disappoint­ing about your article is that it focuses more on Madan and what his wife and sons did or didn’t know. (As an aside, if you want to believe they didn’t know anything, then sure, go ahead, but I’ve got some of that proverbial swampland in Florida to sell you.) It’s also rather strange, don’t you think, that four members of the same family were all essentiall­y working in the same area of government. Perhaps you can devote a future article to hiring practices in the Ontario Public Service.

“As a civil servant, I have some familiarit­y with IT services. Questions regarding the cost of IT services and projects are often met with stonewalli­ng and bafflegab and ‘Why do you want to know that, don’t you trust us?’ The issue of short-term IT contracts raised in your article is not unique to Madan, but is common across the bureaucrac­y. Someone needs to look at how the government procures and manages its IT resources and not assume that Madan is one bad apple.

“The type of behaviour that Madan engaged in makes me and other civil servants angry. What makes us even angrier is the failure to hold those who let it happen to

account and address broader systemic issues in the Ontario Public Service IT world.”

—Todd Kilpatrick

“At such a high level, Madan was the oversight. He lied to his subordinat­es and had the safety measures to help prevent fraud removed from the programs. As for the contracts, if he thought companies were being paid too much or their workers didn’t have the right skills or weren’t being paid well, he was in a position to change that by asking for budgets to be reduced for contracts or changing the contract criteria, but instead he made it worse by giving contracts to the companies that gave him kickbacks, and it seems the companies giving him the kickbacks were the ones that didn’t have culture of fraud extends beyond Queen’s Park to all government­s—the joke of the government discount is wellknown and much too accepted. Far too many think of government money as ‘free’ money, and this needs to change.”

—Cheryl Robertson, Facebook

“To say that Queen’s Park had a culture of fraud is taking the blame away from the individual scammer. I would say Queen’s Park more likely had a culture of over-trusting and not overseeing the person managing the funds.”

—Iris Kerr, Facebook

“I’m glad he’s been caught, but it’s shocking that he wasn’t satisfied with the generous wage he was making. Greedy and ungrateful.”

—Joe D’Amours, Facebook

“Unbelievab­le graft and incompeten­ce by the Ontario government under several political regimes.”

—George Lewis, Facebook

“Detestable and disgusting; a tale of a thief and his family.”

—@CascadeTes­sa, Twitter

“The patronage and nepotism within the public service is sickening. And the fact that salaries are so much higher than those of the average taxpayer is just wrong.”

—@NATAadvoca­cy, Twitter

“A thief stealing from thieves.

Ali Baba beat him to it.”

—@refinisher­sTO, Twitter

“A great example of how power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely! Taxpayers in Ontario deserve much better accountabi­lity and control of how our money is spent.”

—@TDaviddc, Twitter

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