TORONTO – Here are some highlights from the annual report tabled by Ontario auditor general Bonnie Lysyk:
— Salaries for top executives and senior management at Ontario Power Generation have grown disproportionately, and the number of them jumped 60 per cent since 2005, creating what the auditor calls “a top heavy organization.”
— Many OPG executives earned more than deputy ministers, the highest-ranking civil servants that run each government ministry, and get very generous pensions and are eligible for bonuses of up to $1.3 million.
— School cafeteria sales have fallen 25 to 45 per cent since boards implemented healthier food choices, with many high school students preferring to eat at fast food restaurants.
— There is no formal monitoring to ensure students in grades 1-though-8 get 20 minutes of daily physical activity during instruction time, and the three boards the auditor examined admitted their students did not get the required 20 minutes.
— The Ministry of Education provides “only limited oversight” of 1,000 private schools, which are not required to hire certified teachers, obtain criminal background checks on staff or follow the Ontario curriculum.
— The cost of the government’s plan to divest itself of the Ontario Northland Transportation Corporation could soar to $820 million or even higher.
— There are still 3.1 million of the old red-and-white health cards in circulations, about 23 per cent of the 13.4 million total, 18 years after the government announced they would be eliminated to help reduce fraud.
— There is no patient-centred measure and analysis of the time from when an ambulance is called to the time it arrives at a patient’s location, making it hard to assess value from “the significant funding increases in recent years.”
— Ontario has quadrupled autism funding over the last decade but there are still more children waiting for government-funded services than there are children receiving them.
— It costs Ontario $780,000 to train a medical specialist, but one third of government-funded graduates with surgical specialties don’t stay and practise in the province, while patients wait up to 326 days for some operations.
— The Ministry of Health has spent $3.5 billion over the last six years to pay doctors’ bonuses to work in some smaller hospitals that might otherwise have to shut their emergency rooms.
— The government is not keeping its promise that all nursing graduates will get permanent, full-time jobs, with only one-third being offered a regular position in 2011-12.
— There is little to no enforcement of regulations on hunting and fishing in provincial parks or on prohibited activities such as commercial timber harvesting and mining.