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Ontario Tories, NDP want committee to probe Ornge scandal

Until last month, Ornge headquarters in Mississauga was also home to J Smarts, a charity set up by CEO Chris Mazza, until it was shut down.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

Ontario's opposition parties are putting up a united front on the Ornge scandal by calling for a legislative committee to investigate Ontario's troubled air ambulance service.

Police are currently investigating "financial irregularities" at Ornge, but the Tories and New Democrats say more needs to be done.

They say a committee would have a broader mandate than the police and probe lingering issues around quality of care and crew safety.

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They say an all-party committee could also protect whistleblowers who are afraid to talk about ongoing problems at Ornge.

New Democrat France Gelinas and Conservative Frank Klees say Ornge is losing pilots and other front-line workers who have lost confidence in management.

The agency, which receives about $150-million a year from the province, has been mired in controversy for months over high salaries and questionable business practices.

Health Minister Deb Matthews insists Ornge is being cleaned up now that she's replaced the CEO and board of directors, but the opposition parties say the agency is still plagued by staffing issues and service disruptions.

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