Looking back now, Doug Ford’s campaign promise to conduct an independent audit of Ontario’s finances — essentially duplicating the work of the already independent provincial auditor general — was a harbinger of how this government would go about finding its “efficiencies.”
The new PC government would hire former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell to lead its commission of inquiry in Ontario’s finances, as well as EY Canada to deliver a line-by-line “audit” (in practice, it would be more a review than an audit, since there wasn’t time for a proper line-by-line audit) of the province’s financial situation.
And — surprise! — the commission found that the previous Liberal government had hugely understated the deficit, which Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk had previously noted; and EY Canada reported that the province’s operating expenses had ballooned under the Liberal government, which Lysyk had also documented in meticulous detail.