Frank Klees

Press Release

 March 5, 2013

New Premier Picks Up Where Old Premier Left Off: Klees

Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees asked Premier Kathleen Wynne a very pointed question today.

"My question is to the Premier. After 15 days of public hearings into the Ornge scandal and some 57 witnesses, it was confirmed in the course of those hearings that the Ministry of Health had very specific authority and responsibilities to oversee Ornge. In fact, the Director of the Emergency Health Services Branch said, under oath, the following:

"I agree that the Ministry of Health and the Emergency Health Services Branch have, and had oversight responsibilities, and that oversight responsibility was basically set in line by the Ambulance Act, by the Performance Agreement and by the Transfer-of-Payment Accountability Directive.

“Given confirmation through those sworn testimonies - that the ministry had specific oversight authority, why is there no one in the ministry of health or any other department of the government who has been held accountable for their lack of oversight?"

The Premier refused to answer.

“The new Premier is picking up where the old Premier left off. Refusing to answer questions directly on this important issue," responded Klees.

"Rather than hold the Minister accountable, she promoted the minister to Deputy Premier. Rather than hold the Deputy Minster, Mr. Saäd Rafi, accountable for his failure of oversight, he got a raise. I'd like to know from this Premier... Will she conduct her administration in a more transparent, more accountable way than the former Premier, who did everything he could to deflect responses about this issue?”

The Premier refused to answer.

Klees confirmed that the Committee investigating the Ornge scandal will resume hearings on Wednesday March 6th.

"We have a responsibility to ensure that those responsible for putting lives at risk and wasting millions of tax dollars are held accountable and that there are consequences for their actions," said Klees.

The first two witnesses Klees will call to testify before the Ornge Committee will be the new Ornge CEO, Dr. Andrew McCallum who is also the former Chief Coroner and OPP Commissioner, Chris D. Lewis.  

“I want to know when the government initiated discussions with the Chief Coroner about taking on the job at Ornge as the CEO," said Klees. "For either party to engage in those discussions while Ornge was under investigation, at best, shows poor judgement.

“We also want to be assured that the OPP is taking their investigation of Ornge seriously and that the necessary resources are being applied to ensure that those responsible for the waste of tax dollars are held to account."

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Question  Period Video Attached