FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
[La version française suit le texte anglais.]
ONTARIO’S FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICER RELEASES 2020-21 ANNUAL REPORT
TORONTO, July 14, 2021 - Today, Peter Weltman, Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer, submitted his 2020-21 Annual Report to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. The report summarizes Weltman’s activities during his third year in office in support of his mandate to provide Members of Provincial Parliament with relevant, authoritative and timely information on the provincial economy and finances.
In 2020-21, the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) released a record 24 reports, five more than the previous year, including regular updates on Ontario’s economic outlook and finances and reviews of provincial programs, such as housing and homelessness programs and autism services. Several FAO reports focused on the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and the government’s response, including a discussion of hospital capacity during the early stages of the pandemic, assessments of the state of Ontario’s labour market during the year, and a summary of the federal and provincial COVID-19 measures implemented in response to the pandemic.
Additionally, the FAO was mandated by the legislative assembly to assist the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs as it met through the summer of 2020 to study the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on sectors of the Ontario economy and measures to support recovery. The FAO delivered four reports in support of the committee’s work including an assessment of the state of repair of the Province’s infrastructure, an estimate of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on municipal budgets, and an analysis of the impact of the pandemic on the Province’s tourism, culture and heritage sectors.
As Ontario continues to recover from the pandemic, the FAO remains committed to supporting Members of Provincial Parliament, external organizations, members of the media and Ontario’s citizens with a neutral, non-partisan voice on the economic and financial issues affecting our Province.
- The most viewed FAO report in 2020-21 was Ontario Health Sector: A Preliminary Review of the Impact of the COVID-19 Outbreak on Hospital Capacity, with over 12,000 website hits.
- In December 2020, the FAO was asked to appear before Ontario’s Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission to provide a briefing of its October 2019 review of the long-term care homes program.
- In 2020-21, the FAO received 22 research requests from MPPs and two committee requests, which resulted in 11 reports. The remaining requests were either moved to subsequent years or unfulfilled due to increasing demands for the FAO’s limited resources.
- The FAO’s work appeared in over 7,600 news articles and broadcasts in 2020-21, nearly double the previous year’s total.
The FAO hosted 33 virtual briefings for MPPs and media in 2020-21 to support the FAO’s work.
About the FAO
Established by the Financial Accountability Officer Act, 2013, the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) provides independent analysis on the state of the Province’s finances, trends in the provincial economy and related matters important to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Visit our website at http://www.fao-on.org/en/ and follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/InfoFAO.