Credits: QMI AGENCY
ANTONELLA ARTUSO | QMI AGENCY
TORONTO — It’s just a “matter of time” until there’s another tragedy with Ornge Air Ambulance unless the province overhauls the troubled agency, Progressive Conservative MPP Frank Klees insists.
Klees called on Health Minister Deb Matthews Tuesday to remove responsibility for aviation from Ornge and hand it over to a private firm with the experience necessary to improve safety, leaving the public agency responsible only for the health-care team.
A critical report by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada into an Ornge helicopter crash last May that killed two pilots and two flight paramedics should have convinced the minister that the agency is failing in part of its mandate, he said.
“When are we going to hear about the next tragedy and what is the minister then going to say to the families of people who succumb in that tragedy,” Klees said. “She’s going to defend the indefensible and now it’s a matter of time.”
New Democrat MPP France Gelinas said she believes that scandal-plagued Ornge is such a damaged agency that it has been unable to regain the public’s trust, despite well-meaning new management.
“When safety really falls apart, people die and we’ve seen this,” Gelinas said.
Matthews said the new board of Ornge learned from the Moosonee tragedy earlier this year and has implemented many of the recommendations that came out of related official investigations.
The volunteer board of Ornge is committed to improving quality at the agency, she said.