Letter to Premier Ford on the Sole-Sourced ServiceOntario Deals

February 1, 2024

Hon. Doug Ford, MPP
Premier of Ontario
Premier’s Office, Room 208
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
Queen’s Park, Toronto, Ontario
(Via email: premier@ontario.ca)

 

RE: Transparency on your sole-sourced deals

 

Dear Premier,

I’m writing to express my deep concern by your government’s continued backroom deals, and to call on you to end the ServiceOntario coverup by providing the open and transparent answers Ontarians deserve.

Late last year, your government awarded a lucrative sole-source contract to Staples Canada ULC, which is wholly owned by Sycamore Partners, a multi-billion-dollar private equity firm based in New York. We later learned that this selloff of ServiceOntario would include using millions of dollars in taxpayer funds to renovate these privately owned stores.

Since your announcement, you and your government have refused to answer basic questions to demonstrate that this sole-source contract was a prudent use of taxpayer money. Further, questions regarding alleged longstanding business relationships between Staples and/or its suppliers, and your family company, Deco Labels, have gone unanswered.

Earlier this week, Stephanie Bowman, MPP for Don Valley West and Ontario Liberal finance critic, wrote to request the Financial Accountability Officer conduct an analysis of your government’s decision to privatize parts of ServiceOntario. Your government’s shifting story on what, if any, cost savings this move might lead to — and both you and your Minister’s refusal to answer basic questions, leading to the Minister being physically removed from a press conference by his staff — have hardly inspired confidence that this decision was made in the best interests of Ontario taxpayers.

I am urging you and your Minister to end the ServiceOntario coverup and come clean about this sole-sourced deal. Release the business case and let Ontario taxpayers decide for themselves if this is a good use of public funds; and agree to cooperate with the Financial Accountability Officer should he move forward with an analysis of the decision.

You’ve insisted Canadians should just believe you, but time and time again you have betrayed their trust. You told them you would not touch the Greenbelt, and now your government is under investigation by the RCMP. You told them you wouldn’t selloff our healthcare system to private corporations, but your Health Minister continues to do the exact opposite. And you are selling off Ontario Place to a foreign company. Your privatization agenda consistently shows that your friends come first, and Ontarians come second.

I sincerely hope you will once again reverse course on a looming scandal. If you want to restore the trust of the people of Ontario, you will come clean about how and why you’re handing a multi-billion-dollar U.S. company the keys to ServiceOntario.

Sincerely yours,

 

Bonnie Crombie BA, MBA, ICCD.D
Leader
Ontario Liberal Party

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