Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens during budget deliberations, January 23, 2017. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

Windsor Mayor Fires Back At His Biggest Opponent

The Mayor of Windsor is firing back over comments made by his biggest rival in the mayoral race.

Drew Dilkens says city hall already has an Auditor General, after Mayoral Candidate Matt Marchand announced on Thursday that he wants to appoint an Independent Auditor General (AG) if he gets elected in October.

Marchand says the AG would protect taxpayers with sweeping powers for transparency and accountability, but Dilkens says his administration has ensured transparency and full disclosure using PricewaterhouseCoopers as the city’s AG.

“My opponent wants to talk about transparency at city hall but he has selective memory because when he was in the mayor’s office MFP happened and Candarel happened,” says Dilkens.

The MFP leasing scandal happened over a decade ago. Leases for things like a landfill, buses and fire trucks that the city and county thought would cost $91-million ended up costing $314-million. In 2002, two city employees were fired over allegations of misleading council over lease agreements with MFP Financial Services. One of the employees was also accused of accepting “personal benefits” from MFP.

The Canderel Building was a $50-million city-owned building to ensure Chrysler Canada wouldn’t move its headquarters out of the city.

Dilkens says PricewaterhouseCoopers has been the city’s AG for a few years and are professional, trustworthy, and $500,000 cheaper than having an in-house AG.

“PricewaterhouseCoopers has full and unfettered access to the books at the City of Windsor, and their audit plan is approved in public session every year, and is at the discretion of city council,” the mayor says.

Dilkens says he doesn’t accept ridiculous comments that PricewaterhouseCoopers are just a lap dog for city hall and lack accountability.

“These are professional auditors, a professional firm that has regulatory obligations and industry obligations in terms of the work that they do, and if they did anything inappropriate, they could all lose their licences,” Dilkens says.