Since 2000, the Liberal government has paid out more than $80-million to teachers’ unions, with $22-million of that total given with “no strings attached”.
According to Ontario’s Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk, the remaining $58-million was largely earmarked for teachers’ professional development.
Lysyk released her findings on Wednesday after being asked by the Progressive Conservatives and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation last fall to review the spending after learning that the Liberals paid $3.8-million to four public sector education unions over three rounds of bargaining.
Education Minister Liz Sandals has defended the payments as necessary due to the transition to a new bargaining system that separates local and central talks.
In Lysyk’s report, the payments were described as unusual but not outside of the government’s authority.