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Auditor General Finds No Ties Between Grants And Politics

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Auditor General Finds No Ties Between Grants And Politics

Faulty Grant Process Is Scrapped, Minister Steps Down

Office of the Premier

The Province acted today on a report from the Auditor General to ensure there is openness, transparency and accountability in support of capital projects for newcomers to Ontario.

Premier McGuinty said the government will put an end to the practice of using year-end money from the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration for capital grants to ethno-cultural groups.

"Helping newcomers to Ontario, from all over the world, is the right thing to do, and the smart thing to do, but it must be done in an open, transparent and accountable way," said Premier McGuinty.

"I want to thank the Auditor, who found examples of unacceptable administration of this program -- and we are going to fix it," said Premier Dalton McGuinty.

"From now on, support for capital projects in ethno-cultural communities will be administered like support for other infrastructure projects -- through a set fund administered by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal, based on stringent criteria, and as a budget item that is set out at the start of a fiscal year."

In his report on year-end grants provided by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, the Auditor General found "there was no evidence that indicated that any organization received a grant because it had political ties."

But Auditor General Jim McCarter also concluded the process used to award the grants "was not open, transparent or accountable."

Premier McGuinty stressed that all recommendations in the Auditor General's report would be implemented.

The Premier also announced that Mike Colle has resigned as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Gerry Phillips was sworn in this afternoon as the new Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, in addition to his current responsibilities as Minister of Government Services.

"I know Mike has always worked very hard and has always been deeply committed to helping newcomers to Ontario settle here and succeed here -- Mike doesn't pay lip service to diversity. He is in public service because he believes in diversity, as does our government," Premier McGuinty said.

"However this is also a government that believes in accountability. And in this circumstance, Mike feels, and I agree, the minister must be held accountable -- and that stepping down is the right thing to do."

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