Sudbury·Audio

Auditor General investigation to shed light on Laurentian University's accounting

Nickel Belt NDP MPP France Gelinas says the province's Auditor General is getting ready to visit Laurentian University.

Retired police officer in Sudbury says he wants to help the Auditor General get to the bottom of things

Bonnie Lysyk, Auditor General of Ontario, is preparing a team to visit Laurentian University for a look at the books. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

Nickel Belt NDP MPP France Gelinas says the province's Auditor General is getting ready to visit Laurentian University.

Gelinas says her motion last week for Bonnie Lysyk to investigate was passed at the public accounts committee, and has triggered an examination that could provide the public with answers about how the university became insolvent.

A team from the Auditor's General's department will have access to Laurentian's books, she says.

"They have a power to request documents, whether the documents are private, confidential, don't want to be shared, they have the power to question people."

Meanwhile, a retired police officer in Sudbury says he wants to help the Auditor General get to the bottom of things. Craig Davies is offering to document claims from people who say they lost money in Laurentian's financial collapse.

"People just want to know that someone is fighting for them, that not everyone in this town is lying down," he said.

"It's well and fine for people to write letters demanding the province do this, do that and the other, but there are real things we can do on the ground."

Davies says he's been swamped by people coming forward with their stories and says they deserve answers. He says he'll turn over the statements he's gathered — to the Auditor General and the police — for further investigation.

Gelinas adds that people need to know whether there was wrong-doing or not.

"Because we don't know, because it is not transparent, we act like every other human being, when we don't know we assume the worst. And right now, a lot of people don't know what is going on and are assuming the worst."

She notes there's no timeline on when a report might be complete.

"When there's good co-operation, it can go quite quickly. When there's not good cooperation, then they take the time it takes to get the job done. But at the end of the day, we will know every penny that came in, what it was for, what it was used for and where it went," Gelinas said.

The complaints she's been receiving about the matter have been "non-stop."

"But I have no proof of any of this. All it is are people who are really distraught, people who cannot believe what is happening to our university. All of the programs that we're losing, all of the faculty, the brainpower that we are losing."

The Auditor General of Ontario is getting ready to pay a visit to Laurentian University looking for answers for the public about its insolvency. France Gelinas the MPP for Nickel Belt spoke with the CBC's Kate Rutherford about what comes next and why she pushed to have this happen. 5:19

With files from Kate Rutherford

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