Kathleen Wynne knows that hydro prices are behind the disastrous polling numbers for her and her party. That’s why she is willing to do anything to make you forget the spikes in your bills over the past several years and the pain it has inflicted on your household budget.
She’s apparently even willing to break all accounting rules and fudge the government books to make them look good.
This is no small thing, what Wynne and her team are being accused of by no less than the province’s auditor general would see a CEO in the private sector head to jail.
In the latest twist in this ongoing saga, the Globe and Mail reports that Auditor General Bonnie Lysyck’s special audit of the province’s Independent Electricity System Operator is showing nothing short of an organization that is breaking the rules.
Her concerns included incorrect accounting, deceptive and obstructive behaviour by the IESO’s board and management, and poor financial controls. If the improper accounting isn’t corrected, Ms. Lysyk warned, she might issue an adverse opinion on Ontario’s public accounts—the first such opinion on any government’s financial statements in Canadian history.
This all goes back to how Wynne and her government are paying and accounting for billions of dollars of debt incurred to give residents a price break on their monthly hydro bills. What Wynne calls her “Fair Hydro Plan,” Lysyk calls “bogus accounting.”
The entire scheme is designed to see the province borrow billions now to pay off the high price of green energy so that it doesn’t show up on the monthly bills or as debt on the government’s books.
According to the story, as Lysyk and her team were auditing, or attempting to audit the books of the IESO, the agency refused to inform the AG’s office when key meetings were happening, refused to sign basic documents, and told Lysyk that everything was fine because the accounting firm KPMG, which also got a consulting contract on the “Fair Hydro Plan,” had said so.
Wynne’s government has been fighting with Lysyk and her office for years now. As each audit turns up something negative, especially on Hydro, Kathleen Wynne and her cabinet don’t promise to do better, they attack and undermine the Office of the Auditor General.
Having covered politics nearly 20 years at all levels, I have never seen this play out like it has in Ontario.