Office of the Official Opposition 

Wakeham Shocked by Exorbitant Waste and Lack of Control Under Liberal Direct Oversight

For Immediate Release

(June 13, 2024 St. John’s, N.L.) – Progressive Conservative Leader Tony Wakeham (MHA, Stephenville – Port au Port) is reacting to the Auditor General's review of the Oil and Gas Corporation and the lack of direct oversight by the Furey Liberal Government, especially when compared to the vision of the Corporation as promised by the Liberals when they created it.


"The Auditor General has clearly demonstrated that the Liberal created crown-corporation did not ensure the best use of public money," suggested Wakeham. "In fact, the Auditor General provided clear examples of money wasted:  excess fees paid to outside firms, expensive cell phone plans, and first-class flights."


Wakeham compared this to the vision of the Corporation that the Liberals promised when legislation was debated in the House of Assembly.


"Minister Coady assured the people of this province that the creation of the Oil and Gas Corporation would come with direct oversight and monetary savings," added Wakeham. "Yet, what is demonstrated by the Auditor General is a Corporation that the Liberals have allowed to disobey guidelines and waste money."


Wakeham pointed to examples from the House of Assembly debate, specifically when Minister Coady suggested that money could be saved through shared services. Minister Coady said, "There will be enhanced opportunity for shared services. That's things like human resource development, things like finances." Yet one of the examples in the Auditor General's report is that the Corporation paid $294,925 for a part-time Controller.


Additionally, Minister Coady said, "there will be direct oversight that now reports directly to the Minister of Natural Resources." Yet, the Auditor General discovered "repeated instances of government directing the Oil and Gas Corporation to classify its positions and the Corporation refusing to do so."


"The Auditor General's report paints a very different picture than Minister Coady and the Liberals promised. So, why have the Furey Liberals allowed the Corporation to go without direct oversight? Why were cost savings promised, only for the Auditor General to find many examples of waste and overspending?"