The legislature's summer recess started Friday but that didn't stop the opposition party attacks over the spending and expenses scandal at eHealth Ontario, the second provincial agency set up to create electronic health records for Ontarians.
The Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats said they wanted to know if they were misled by Health Minister David Caplan or if the minister was misled by officials at eHealth about a $114,000 bonus paid to the agency's CEO after just a few months on the job.
Mr. Caplan has faced repeated calls for his resignation over questionable spending and expense account use at eHealth, which included awarding $5-million in untendered contracts and allowing consultants who were paid up to $2,700 a day to bill taxpayers extra for minor purchases like tea and snacks.
Last week, Mr. Caplan defended the $114,000 bonus paid to eHealth CEO Sarah Kramer - even though she'd only been on the job a few months - saying it was what she would have been entitled to if she stayed at Cancer Care Ontario.
However, Cancer Care Ontario said Ms. Kramer's bonus would have been much closer to $40,000 than the $114,000 she negotiated on top of the $380,000 salary she received for moving to eHealth.
Interim Opposition Leader Bob Runciman said he wants to know whether Mr. Caplan had direct knowledge about Ms. Kramer's bonus.
"Every day, the trail of bread crumbs on this issue keeps leading closer to the health minister's office," Mr. Runciman said.
"If the minister was misled, what further justification does he need to fire both Kramer and [eHealth's chairman Alan]Hudson?"
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said she too wanted to know why Mr. Caplan defended the $114,000 bonus.
Mr. Caplan's office said the minister is demanding more information from eHealth about the bonus.
"The minister is very concerned about some of the information that has surfaced regarding eHealth [and]I think it's safe to say his concern has grown over the last day," said spokesman Steve Erwin.
"I can't speculate on when we might get that [information] but we've asked for it quickly."
EHealth was set up last fall after the first provincial agency tasked with creating electronic health records, Smart Systems for Health, spent about $650-million but failed to produce anything of value before it was quietly shut down.
The government said it's waiting for a report by the auditor general looking into eHealth to get an independent assessment of exactly what has gone on at the provincial agency.
But the opposition parties complain that report won't be ready until the end of the summer and the government such act sooner.