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Opposition confronts Premier over embattled Ornge service

TORONTO, Ont. – The province’s embattled Ornge air ambulance service continues to dominate question period, Thursday, at the Ontario legislature.

The opposition Conservatives are going after Premier Dalton McGuinty, asking for a special all-party government committee with subpoena powers to investigate the goings-on at Ornge, and it appeared McGuinty was warming up to the idea.

“I want to make it perfectly clear. I have not said, speaker, that we should reject the committee being put forward by the opposition, speaker. I’m saying that we have a number of investigations on the way which should allow for the completion of those,” he said.

The Premier, however, dodged the first few questions about Ornge, getting Conservative MPP Frank Klees even more fired up.

“For the Premier not to stand in his place and respect members of the opposition who put specific questions to him, is an insult to the members of the opposition,” he said.

McGuinty answered a question shortly after, but he was further heckled after he passed the buck to the health minister a few times, prompting New Democrat MPP France Gelinas to remind him that Thursday is International Women’s Day.

“Maybe when a woman asks a question, she can get an answer from the Premier,” she said, which resulted in laughs and applause from the legislature.

Both the OPP and auditor general are currently digging into the financial irregularities at Ornge. McGuinty says as a result, the all-party committee may not be necessary.

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