Ontario's Liberals have defeated an attempt by the opposition parties to have the province's auditor general probe grants handed out to multicultural groups.
At a public accounts committee meeting Thursday, the Liberals outvoted the New Democrats and Progressive Conservatives, who had joined forces to try to force an investigation by Auditor General Jim McCarter.
The request asked for him to probe the $20 million in grants doled out to 31 community groups last year.
The second rule of Slush Funds Club is, you don't talk about alleged slush funds until after an election [Toronto Star, Liberals halt grants probe]:
In what critics called an effort to defuse the "slush fund" scandal, the Liberals used their majority in the Legislature's public accounts committee to order 30 groups that received $20 million in funding to report on the status of that money within six months.
That timing gives groups until two weeks after the Oct. 10 provincial election and is "an insult to the intelligence of anyone paying attention to this issue," said Progressive Conservative MPP Bob Runciman (Leeds-Grenville).
Liberal MPP Monique Smith (Nipissing) said at the public accounts committee that the auditor general is free to examine the grants if he so desires, but critics noted the auditor general's next annual report is not due until at least six months after the fall election.
Yay, for your Ontario Liberals!