Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Auditor General of Ontario annual report, and what we already knew

The Auditor General's 2014 Annual report is now out. It'll take some time to digest the full report, but in the interim, here are portions of the main news release, augmented with links to past articles by myself or Parker Gallant.

Key Issues of Value for Money and Service Delivery Highlighted in Auditor General’s 2014 Annual Report

(TORONTO) Ontario government programs that we examined didn’t always provide value for money or deliver services as effectively as the public has the right to expect, Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk said following the release today of her 2014 Annual Report.

“Both of these two issues were at the heart of the 12 value-for-money audit reports we prepared this year,” she said after tabling the 600-page Annual Report, her second since becoming Auditor General in 2013.

In some areas, taxpayers did not get value for money from the large amounts of public money spent. In other cases, services were not delivered as effectively as Ontarians have a right to expect.”

Among the findings in this year’s Annual Report:

• Although nearly $2 billion was spent to install new “smart” electricity meters across the province, the government’s stated objectives of reducing power demand at peak times and eliminating the need for new sources of power are not being met.
Parker Gallant, July 2010: Ontario’s Power Trip: Is this ‘smart’? 
Scott Luft, January 2011: Smartiness: Smart Meters and Smart Grids Without Smarts
• The Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) approach used by Infrastructure Ontario assumed that the public sector would not have been able to successfully deliver 74 infrastructure projects on time and on budget. Specifically, Infrastructure Ontario’s AFP approach assumes that the risks of cost overruns and delays are about five times higher when the public sector manages infrastructure projects. The AFP approach assumed that it would be reasonable for taxpayers to incur an estimated $8 billion more (including $6.5 billion in higher financing costs) to have this work done by the private sector on time and on budget.
Parker Gallant, Dec 2012: McGuinty brags about “PPPing” our tax dollars away! Part 1 
Parker Gallant, Dec 2012: McGuinty and Infrastructure Ontario “PPPing” our tax dollars away Part II
Scott Luft, April 2012: Manning Up: A Weak Week for Ontario in the Electricity Sector, et al....

• Infrastructure Ontario’s Loans Program made a higher-risk loan of $216 million to a subsidiary of the MaRS Discovery District, a not-for-profit organization, but the ultimate costs and benefits of this loan are unclear.
Parker Gallant, April 2012: Infrastructure Ontario: Charitable Financing Ontario Style 
Parker Gallant, April 2012: MaRS Discovery District: Ontario's most expensive Consultants

The Office of the Auditor General of Ontario has 14 news releases on today's report.


  1. I have made a new post about comparing Ontario’s debt to others and the impact on future generations. You can check it out here:



  2. I have made a website deals with Ontario's electricity system you can check it out here: