Watchdog’s Trust Is “Broken”

Don’t look so shocked:

Ontario’s new Financial Accountability Officer Stephen LeClair says his trust has in the Liberal government has already been “damaged” after his inaugural report was leaked to the media in advance of his release.

Set up in 2013, the Financial Accountability Office “provides independent analysis on the state of the Province’s finances, trends in the provincial economy and related matters important to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.” It is similar to the Parliamentary Budget Office in Ottawa.

LeClair released his first report on Thursday, which examined the costs associated with the planned sell-off of 60 per cent of Hydro One. The document said the sell-off could, over the long run, cost the provincial treasury up to $500 million a year, make it harder to balance the books and subsequently increase its debt. But subscribers to one municipal daily already knew that — the report was leaked in full to a major newspaper and its contents published in Thursday’s paper.

Both opposition parties were disappointed in the leak and say they are looking into whether it can be formally investigated or is a breach of their parliamentary privilege.

 “I’m disappointed in the leak,” LeClair said at his first big press conference at Queen’s Park. “It does damage the trust.”