Invitation: New Accountability for the Premier and the Ontario Attorney General

Invitation: New Accountability for the Premier and the Ontario Attorney General
Posted on May 25, 2013 | Coalition Zero Point Five | Written on May 25, 2013
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Dear Taxpayers & Transit Users,

With reference to allegations we heard from the former Chief of Staff for Mayor Rob Ford at a March 2012 conference, December 2012 Ontario Auditor General Report and other research, Coalition 0.5 has gone to court to demand that a judge be appointed to investigate the breach of trust allegations. The Premier of Ontario & Attorney General should STEP DOWN temporarily until the investigations are complete.

As has been widely reported, in 2010 / 2011, the former Minister of Transportation Kathleen Wynne / current Premier of Ontario, allegedly intimidated the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) to breach a contract with ACS Xerox who won the RFI and tender by submitting a compliant bid an open payment system, in order to pay $0.5 billion more for a sole sourced, non-conforming product known as Presto. Despite product challenges to meet the TTC needs and a fiduciary responsibility to put taxpayer interests first, the Grant Thornton Report sites reputation risk and supplier interests as reasons not to choose re-procurement. About 6 months after the breach of contract, the TTC wrote a letter pleading with MTO / Metrolinx to work with ACS Xerox to meet their needs.

In 2010 / 2011 the former Minister of Transportation Kathleen Wynne / current Premier of Ontario allegedly used gas tax, LRT, subway funding to allegedly intimidate the Regions of Durham, York, Cities of Brampton, Hamilton, Mississauga, Ottawa, Toronto and the Town of Oakville not to tender for an open payment system and not to enforce contract non-conformance penalties to the tune of about $0.2 billion.

The subway / LRT funding threat is a violation of the Metrolinx mandate to reduce traffic gridlock. Open payment systems accept Presto cards which is a defacto fulfillment of Metrolinx mandate for regional interoperability. Ottawa and Hamilton are not part of the GTA, so why intimidate them? The alleged use of Ontario Government prestige and municipal funding to give a private company an untendered cut of $20 billion in transit revenue over 10 years is unprecedented in Canadian history and a breach of the Municipal Act. Could the federal government say Ontario will not receive health care transfer payments unless all hospitals buy X-Ray equipment from a private company?

Rather than defend these actions, Ontario Minister of Transportation Bob Chiarelli blamed bureaucrats. It is the job of the Ontario Attorney General to find out if a Government Minister or a bureaucrat is to blame and recover damages due to the Crown. Despite a Crown report (Auditor General) saying laws were broken and contract penalties legally due from Accenture are not being enforced, the Minister of Municipal Affairs in 2010 (when municipalities were being intimidated) and current Attorney General John Gerretsen (who endorsed the Premier during the leadership race) has refused to investigate, claiming discretion, and has not tried to recover money. The law requires him to recuse himself from a decision to investigate or not, due to conflict of interest.

The former 2010 Deputy Minister of Transportation (when municipalities were being intimidated) and current CEO of Crown Corporation Metrolinx allegedly allowed a cover up scenario where Grant Thornton / Justice Coulter were given one set of figures while the Auditor General was given another set of figures 3 days apart. Would Grant Thornton and Justice Coulter have issued semi-favorable reports if they knew the total cost was $0.95 billion, laws were broken to give Accenture Contractors signing authority? About $200 million in contract penalties are not being enforced? $700 million dollars in sole source contracts not contingent on ownership and no cap on the final cost? Is it logical to pay $2 billion to develop eHealth and give away ownership to a private company?

August 24, 2012 - Grant Thornton Value for Money Report Total Cost = $384 million
February 7, December 7, 2012 - Justice Coulter Report Total Cost = $380 million
December 12, 2012 - Ontario Auditor General Report Total Cost = $950 million

This is not a partisan issue; we all have a duty to uphold the law. In March of this year Coalition 0.5, went to the Ontario Superior Court to ask for a judge to be appointed to investigate these allegations. As a consequence to this action, Coalition 0.5 is further demanding that the Premier of Ontario and Attorney General STEP DOWN temporarily until the investigations are complete. We believe we have an iron-clad case based on the law:
"Public Officers Act. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45, s. 16; 2006, c. 19, Sched. C, s. 1 (1). "Procedure when public officer interested in question before him" "Where by any general or special Act any person or the occupant for the time being of any office is empowered to do or perform any act, matter or thing and such person or the occupant for the time being of such office is disqualified by interest from acting and no other person is by law empowered to do or perform such act, matter or thing, then he or she or any interested person may apply, upon summary motion, to a judge of the Superior Court of Justice, who may appoint some disinterested person to do or perform the act, matter or thing in question"

Coalition 0.5 has another court date in Toronto on July 17, after a couple of appearances, the costs are piling up. We need to raise $5,000 for a lawyer to draft legal documents and represent the Corporation in court on July 17, we need to act fast. As a result we are asking all of friends who can afford it, to share in what we believe is a moral duty. We will be hosting a private fundraiser at the home of Ade Olumide on Tuesday June 11 at 6.00pm, together we can restore integrity and accountability and the duty of public officers to act in the public good. To attend, please RSVP and or send donations to RPO 93, 2808 Dunrobin Road, K0A 3M0 coalitionzeropointfive@live.ca or call 613 832 7702.

Naturally if you can offer pro bono legal services or can be one of 10 people to give $500, we would like to hear from you ASAP. Defendants are represented by some of the best legal minds in the Country, paid for, once again, by taxpayers.

Notwithstanding, our cause is just and we shall win. Rather than complain about the mental torture of new revenue tools to pay for unjust enrichment and the risk of new precedence on $100 billion of yearly government procurement, we have no choice but to act in self-defence. Spending $5,000 to save $0.5 billion (voiding of Metrolinx TTC contract by a judge) is a good return on investment. The rich and influential should not be allowed to use the justice system to prey on taxpayers and transit users. We have a modest achievable goal and we thank you for your help.

Sincerely,

Coalition 0.5

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