Uh boy. Now we find out what the government thinks “working with” the Auditor-General means. Heather had mentioned some of this during direct, but now Garth dives into the scurrilous details.
Apparently, in order to resolve these “disputes” the Province just kept writing to the Auditor-General arguing why they were right and the Auditor-General was wrong. But the government’s arguments didn’t seem to be that convincing.
The government claimed that since the Worker’s Compensation Board didn’t meet the control test in the Public Sector Accounting Standards, it was entirely proper to take the WCB out. The Auditor-General replied that when there had been a thorough review of the status of the WCB vis-a vis the Province in 2005, the conclusion was that the WCB was controlled by the government. Thus, the WCB had continued to be included in the Province’s Financial Statement ever since.
So Ricard asked, what’s different now? Has anything changed in the relationship that would lead to a change in the nature of the government’s control of the WCB, something that might lead to a different conclusion on the control test, and thereby justify taking the WCB out of the Province’s Summary Financial Statements?
I gather that the response was – no, no change in the nature of the relationship, just accept our arguments that the WCB doesn’t belong anymore.
And then Smorang went into the draft legislation the Province has proposed to fix this. Somewhere in some act the Government of Manitoba is going to enact:
Section X: The Workers Compensation Board is hereby deemed not to be under the control of the Province of Manitoba.
Uhm, so you can’t win the argument (because apparently you don’t have one), so you are just going to deem a new reality in?
That’s like as though the Minister of Finance has been caught speeding down Kenaston Blvd every Friday. And well, he cannot win the argument with the police’s radar, so, they will just make it law that:
Section Y: The Minister of Finance’s speed on Kenaston Blvd is hereby deemed to be 50 km/hr (no matter what the radar says).
As for the MASC Trusts, there have been some discussion, but they are still working on it.