Ontario's opposition parties were fuming Wednesday after the Liberal government quietly dropped a promised independent review of scandal-plagued eHealth Ontario.

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EHealth Ontario first came under scrutiny last week for nearly $5 million doled out in untendered contracts, with more than half questioned over personal ties to company executives. ((CBC))

The government had said PriceWaterhouseCoopers would look into procurement practices at the provincial agency, which is working to create electronic health records for Ontario residents.

But last Friday, Health Minister David Caplan agreed to a request from eHealth to drop the outside review, saying it would duplicate the work of Ontario's auditor general.

NDP critic Peter Kormos said the government is worried about more bad news emerging from eHealth and is simply buying itself some time by cancelling the outside review.

"Clearly Mr. McGuinty and the government are very apprehensive about any more revelations about eHealth and their abuse of taxpayers' money," said Kormos.

Caplan called the NDP's accusation "utter nonsense" and said the auditor general "has unfettered authority as a legislative officer and Mr. Kormos well knows that."

PC's Hudak calls for minister's resignation

The Liberals announced the outside review knowing that the auditor general was doing his own investigation, said Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak.

"So I think this shows that it was a sham process to try to protect the minister's job in the first place," said Hudak.

"This is an ongoing mess and the minister really has no choice, given the ongoing scandals at eHealth, but to step down. And if he doesn't, Dalton McGuinty should fire him."

Premier Dalton McGuinty has already apologized for the spending scandal at eHealth, which included $5 million in untendered contracts and expense abuses by consultants being paid $2,700 a day.

The agency's CEO and the chair of its board both resigned during the scandal.

The Auditor General's report is not due until September, while the PriceWaterhouseCoopers report was supposed to be released earlier.