Taxpayers criticize Ford government’s lack of transparency on Science Centre move

Author: Jay Goldberg 2023/04/25

Toronto, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is demanding that the Ford government keep its promise to make public the analysis on moving the Ontario Science Centre available.

“When Infrastructure Minister Kinga Surma announced the plan to move the Science Centre to the grounds of Ontario Place, she repeatedly talked about analysis that showed it would be cheaper to move than renovate,” said CTF Ontario Director Jay Goldberg. “If what Surma said was true, the government should have no concerns with releasing that analysis to the public.”

Last week, the Ford government announced it planned to move the Ontario Science Centre to Ontario Place. At the time, Surma promised to release the government’s business case analysis to the public in short order.

“We will share it once the numbers are verified,” said Surma last week.

Now the government has reversed itself.

“The business case and terms of the lease agreement are confidential,” said government spokesperson Andrea Chiappetta in an email to the Globe and Mail. He went on to say withholding the information allows the government to “get the best deal for taxpayers.”

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is filing multiple requests to get the analysis through the freedom of information system.

“Making secret deals and undermining transparency is never good for taxpayers,” said Goldberg. “If this is a good deal for taxpayers, show us the numbers. Taxpayers have a right to see how the government is spending our money.”

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