(Toronto) – Progressive Conservative and New Democratic MPP’s joined forces today to call for a police investigation into a scandal involving $32 million in grants to multicultural groups by the McGuinty Liberal government.
Bob Runciman (MPP Leeds-Grenville), a former Solicitor General and Peter Kormos (MPP Niagara Centre), a former criminal defence lawyer, released a letter to Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant requesting a police investigation into “financial misconduct” by political officials in the distribution of “highly questionable” grants made at the fiscal year end over the last two years.
In late July, Ontario’s Auditor General released a review of the decision-making process used in the distribution of grants. His findings and scathing criticism detailing the lack of control and transparency as the money was doled out, led to the resignation of Citizenship Minister Mike Colle.
“The Auditor’s report left a basketful of unanswered questions, many beyond the Auditor’s purview to investigate and some raising issues of criminality” asserted Runciman.
“The Auditor’s report was not an investigation of civil or criminal wrongdoing rather it was a quick and narrowly scoped review that confirmed financial misconduct” said Kormos. “We still have no answers for why the misconduct occurred and how these improper benefits were sought or bestowed.”
In calling for the police investigation the veteran MPPs’ argue, citing various sections of the Criminal Code, that criminal misconduct remains a potential explanation for the actions in question and the citizens of Ontario have a right to answers.
“The Auditor General did his job, now it’s time to get to the bottom of this by having the police investigate” said Runciman.
“It’s over to Mr. Bryant to do his job” added Kormos.