POLITICS

Quick quotes in reaction to auditor general's report on Ornge air ambulance

03/21/2012 04:30 EDT | Updated 05/21/2012 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - Here are some quick quotes in reaction to the release of a special auditor general's report into the Ornge air ambulance service:

"The ministry was not getting enough information on the number of patients being transported, the average cost of these transports and the quality and timeliness of patient care. Annual ministry funding for Ornge’s air ambulance operations increased by more than 20 per cent over five years, however the number of patients transported by air actually fell by about six per cent during the same time period." — auditor general Jim McCarter.

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"We have many challenges in our health-care system right now, and I cannot tell you how disgusted I am when I see people who are entrusted with responsibility in our health-care system to put their own interests ahead of the interests of the people that they are there to serve." — Health Minister Deb Matthews.

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"I think this government was determined to cover up the problems at Ornge until that election had occurred and then they were dragged kicking and screaming when this all became public knowledge and the media started writing about it. I’m really quite disheartened to see the minister not prepared to accept any responsibility for this." — former Progressive Conservative health minister Elizabeth Witmer.

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"I don’t know whether they were just trying to sweep it under the carpet, trying to drag it out because they didn’t want anything to show up before an election campaign. Although the minister can claim she’s been betrayed and didn’t get the information she needed, the bottom line is the responsibility lies with that minister and frankly, with the premier." — NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.

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"Why are our tax dollars being wasted on million-dollar bonuses and expensive perks? This mess stinks, and it calls into question the value, transparency and accountability of (public-private partnerships)." — Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner.