Proposed Southwestern Ontario Development Fund: just another Liberal slush fund?
Ted Arnott, MPP
Wellington – Halton Hills
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2012
Proposed Southwestern Ontario Development Fund: just
another Liberal slush fund?
(Queen’s Park) – In a sharply worded letter to the Minister of Economic Development and Innovation on
Monday, Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott raised serious questions about the Southwestern Ontario
Development Fund, expressing concern that it is yet another slush fund aimed at furthering Liberal re-election
In his letter, which was sent after consultation with several municipal representatives, Mr. Arnott outlined the
McGuinty Government’s track record of questionable spending of taxpayer dollars, including a history of using
public funds for partisan advantage.
He cited the example of the Ontario Cricket club. Shortly before the 2007 election, the Liberal Government
contacted the Ontario Cricket Club to see if they were interested in receiving a grant. The club submitted a
request for a $150,000 grant. The McGuinty Government wrote them a cheque for $1 million.
“The Ontario Cricket Club scandal can only be described as a blatant and shameful vote buying exercise,”
argued Mr. Arnott. “Why would we enable more of this behaviour, by allowing the McGuinty Government to
continue to write cheques with little oversight or transparency?”
Mr. Arnott also expressed concern that the fund would set up to benefit Liberal-held ridings, with no money
left over for rural ridings such as Wellington-Halton Hills. He asked for the Minister’s personal guarantee that
all ridings would receive their fair share of the funding.
“If I’m proven wrong, I will be the first to thank them,” he said.
He also questioned the Government’s commitment to economic development in rural Ontario, given its move
to end the Slots at Racetracks program – a decision which will devastate the equine industry.
However, ultimately Mr. Arnott argued that the Government is simply playing political games with the idea of a
Southwestern Ontario Development Fund.
He maintains that Government does not require any bill to be passed in order to establish and administer the
“If the Government was really serious about this issue and not just interested in playing political games, they
could have set up this fund months ago,” Mr. Arnott concluded. “The Eastern Ontario Development Fund has
been operating for a number of years, without any Bill ever being passed by the Legislature to create it.”
(Attached: Ted Arnott’s letter to the Minister of Economic Development and Innovation, which he hand-
delivered to the Minister’s office on June 11, 2012.)
– 30 –
Ted Arnott, MPP