Tories mum on why provincial controller quit after refusing to sign off on $15 billion deficit - 2018-12-06
The Progressive Conservative government will not say why the province's chief accountant resigned suddenly after refusing to sign off on a $15 billion deficit she felt was inflated. As first disclosed by the Star, provincial controller Cindy Veinot quit in September because she "did not agree with accounting decisions made by the current government."
Veinot, a civil servant with 25 years of previous accounting experience at Deloitte, stepped down because she felt Finance Minister Vic Fedeli's numbers "materially overstate the deficit of the province for the year." In the legislature on Thursday, Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy was asked why the province's public accounts do not bear the signature of the controller this year. "I can't comment on the controller and the lack of signature," said Bethlenfalvy, countering that auditor general Bonnie Lysyk issued a "clean opinion" of the province's books for the first time in three years.
"We listened to the auditor general, who for years did not agree with the accounting of the previous Liberal government's books," the minister added. But interim Liberal leader John Fraser said Veinot's decision to leave is an indictment of the new administration. "Here is why the controller's signature is not on this year's public accounts: She was forced to leave in September because she did not agree with the accounting decision made by the government," said Fraser. "She said she could not put her professional attestation on the public accounts. The government is overstating the deficit as a context for cuts. We've already seen those cuts to health care, to education, to social services, to the things that families depend on," he said.