Ontario Awarded $ 210 Million in Support of COVID-19 to Ineligible Businesses, Auditor’s Report says | The Canadian News

TORONTO – Ontario’s auditor general found that thousands of businesses received a total of more than $ 200 million in provincial COVID-19 supports for which they were ineligible.

It’s one of the findings in Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk’s annual report, which looked at supporting businesses during a pandemic among a wide range of other topics.

Their audit found that lack of good consultation, inadequate tracking of funds, and poorly designed eligibility criteria allowed ineligible businesses to receive the money.

The report says Ontario’s small business support grant lacked controls to screen ineligible applicants and $ 210 million went to 14,500 ineligible recipients, which the province is not trying to recoup.

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Key Findings from Ontario’s Auditor General’s Annual Report

The audit also found that the program’s criteria excluded some worst-hit businesses and that some beneficiaries received more money than they lost in revenue, up to a total difference of $ 714 million.

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Another audit found that the province did not have enough personal protective equipment at the start of the pandemic, but it could have been prepared had it followed the recommendations that came in 2006 after the SARS outbreak.

There was also no legislated monitoring of PPE stocks for individual healthcare providers and the ministry was not transparent about how it distributed the limited supply of equipment.

Wait times for outpatient surgeries that worsened during the pandemic were also highlighted and another audit noted inefficient monitoring of assisted living services, on which the province spent $ 389 million last year.

More are coming.

© 2021 The Canadian Press


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