Ted Arnott, MPP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 23, 2014
Government continues to evade questions on MaRS
(Queen’s Park) – The Liberal Government is continuing to avoid giving answers on MaRS, says
Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott.
“The Premier was elected on her promise to govern differently – to turn the page on the Liberal
scandals and be open and transparent with this House and the people of Ontario,” Mr. Arnott
said in Question Period on October 21. “However, when it comes to the MaRS money pit,
they’ve been anything but open and transparent.”
“At estimates committee last week, the Minister responsible for MaRS was evasive and dodgy.
He refused to release the business case for the MaRS loan and other relevant information
related to the MaRS bailout, even though taxpayers are now paying almost half a million a
month, a tab that now stands at $3.6 million,” Mr. Arnott continued.
When asked directly by Mr. Arnott to guarantee that taxpayers will be repaid in full for the $224
million loan her Government gave to MaRS, Premier Wynne declined to answer and instead
passed off the question to her Minister of Economic Development, Employment, and
“I simply asked the Premier to guarantee that the MaRS loan will be repaid in full,” Mr. Arnott
noted afterwards. “It was a very straightforward question. Yet the Premier was unwilling to
make that commitment.”
Mr. Arnott pointed out that while the Government claims the loan is secured by the value of the
building, that money can only be recovered if the building is sold. The Premier is considering
filling the building with civil servants as an option.
“If MaRS is the great investment that the Government claims it to be, what are they afraid of?
Why have they continued to refuse to release the business case for the loan?” Mr. Arnott asked.
“Given their abysmal track record managing our tax dollars, Ontarians have every reason to be
(Attached: Hansard record of Mr. Arnott’s questions to the Premier and Minister of Economic
Development, Employment, and Infrastructure, October 21, 2014)
– 30 –
Ontario Hansard – 21-October 2014
Mr. Ted Arnott: My question is for the Premier. Will the Premier guarantee that the $224-million loan
her government gave to the MaRS phase 2 office tower will be repaid in full?
Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure.
Hon. Brad Duguid: We’ve been very clear: The loan is fully secured on the value of the asset, and the
asset is more than the amount we’ve invested. It’s a fairly simple answer.
I think it’s important at this time to start talking a little bit about the lack of support that we’ve seen from
the PC Party for the MaRS vision. I think what they’ve done is indicated that when MaRS was having
challenges, their position was to let that building rot in the ground.
I ask the member, in his supplementary will he commit to supporting the efforts we’ve made to help
support MaRS, to ensure that phase 2 succeeds? Or is his party’s position, and was his party’s position, to
let that project rot in the ground, allow those jobs and all that economic development potential in our
bioscience sector to go out the window? Is that the position of your party?
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?
Mr. Ted Arnott: It’s instructive that the Premier did not guarantee that the MaRS loan would be repaid.
The Premier was elected on her promise to govern differently, to turn the page on Liberal scandals, to be
open and transparent with this House and with the people of Ontario. However, when it comes to the
MaRS money pit, they’ve been anything but open and transparent.
At the estimates committee last week, the minister responsible for MaRS was evasive and dodgy. He
refused to release the business case for the MaRS loan and other relevant information related to the MaRS
bailout, even though taxpayers are now paying almost half a million dollars a month-a tab that now stands
at $3.6 million.
When will they keep their promise to be open and transparent and release the agreement with Alexandria
Real Estate and the business case for the MaRS bailout?
Hon. Brad Duguid: I don’t know how much more clear we can be. We’ve said it a thousand times. The
loan is repayable. It will be repaid. It’s fully secured, Mr. Speaker. Taxpayer dollars are well protected in
I think what’s causing concern in the bioscience sector is the lack of support of the party opposite, which
has taken every opportunity to besmirch the reputation of MaRS, after MaRS has created tens of
thousands of jobs in this province and attracted $3 billion of private sector investment to Ontario. The
vision of Ernie Eves and Jim Flaherty has become a very important part of our economy. It’s really a
shame that the party opposite shows so little respect for that vision.