Hon Deb Matthews Minister of Health: I’m afraid I can’t, Mr. Klees. You will know from your days in cabinet that the Minister is always the last to know if anything is going wrong.
Frank Klees: Newmarket-Aurora: Surely you had some inkling that things were amiss?
Hon Deb Matthews, Minister of Health: Not really. As is the usual case, the bureaucrats did the deal with Ornge. I only found out there were problems when I read about them in the Toronto Star.
Frank Klees: What was your initial reaction when you read the story.
Hon Deb Matthews, Minister of Health: Originally I was confused. I read the article carefully and asked my staff, since when is it a criminal offence to make $1.4 Million a year?
Frank Klees: Surely your chief of staff would have been on top of this matter?
Hon Deb Matthews, Minister of Health: Possibly, who knows? As you well know my chief of staff, like every other Minister’s, reports to the Premier’s office, not me.
Frank Klees: What happened to the principle of ministerial accountability?
Hon. Deb Matthews: I haven’t a clue. I’ve read about it in books but It certainly hasn’t existed in the time I’ve been here. As I understand it , my job, is to make announcements and re-announcements. My Chief of staff would deal with matters like Ornge, and that would be handled in the premier’s office, unless they felt it necessary for me to be briefed.
Frank Klees: Thank you.