PM STEPHEN HARPER’S PAID WINTER HOLIDAY
FOR THE SELECT FEW WHILE THE REST WORK TO PAY FOR IT.
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ONTARIO Facing pressure to release more details about alleged fraud or wrongdoing investigated by the auditor-general, the city revealed that it had fired three staff and suspended 10 others without pay. But the city would not say for which among a list of allegations in the report, including theft and improperly cancelled parking tickets, the employees were punished. Meanwhile, in a separate case of alleged fraud, the city announced it had fired nine staff it had sent home with pay last month for allegedly filing false health-benefit claims and pocketing the cash. However, the mayor and city officials would not say how much, saying it could jeopardize a police probe into the allegations, uncovered by the company that administers the city’s benefits, Manulife Financial. The report includes allegations that employees improperly cancelled parking tickets, worked $50,000 in “excessive overtime,” viewed pornography on city computers, wrongly recommended private contractors to homeowners and rented their own apartments to social-services recipients. Pressed by reporters, Mr. Miller said three of the employees facing allegations in the auditor-general’s report were terminated, one resigned, and another 10 were suspended without pay. Mr. Ford, like other members of the audit committee, received a confidential briefing on the punishments behind closed doors but was “severely warned” not to share what he learned. He accused the mayor of trying to keep a lid on the allegations and the city of being too soft on the accused employees: “It’s coming from the top.”
WHEN THE TAXPAYER’S MONEY IS ABUSED BY THIEVES, ALCOHOLICS, IT IS THE PROGRAMS, SERVICES TO THE POOR AND NEEDY PERSONS THAT ARE GENERALLY FIRST MADE TO PAY FOR IT. WE NEED BETTER BUDGET CONTROLS AND BETTER PUNISHMENT OF THE BAD GUYS TOO.