No Criminal Charges To Be Laid
Orillia, ON - Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has concluded a lengthy, complex,
international criminal investigation into allegations of criminal wrongdoing on
the part of senior employees of ORNGE, Ontario's air ambulance service. Based on
the information gathered and analyzed, the OPP has insufficient evidence to support
laying criminal charges.
The investigation began in February 2012 and was led by the OPP Criminal Investigation
Branch (CIB). The investigation came at the request of the Ministry of Health and
Long Term Care (MOHLTC). The OPP is mandated to investigate possible criminal activities
in governments or agencies of government, including fraud, breach of trust, theft,
and misappropriation of funds.
The OPP investigative team faced considerable investigative challenges during the
months and years it took to acquire and review in excess of 41 gigabytes of information,
more than 97,000 documents, more than 500,000 email communications, and interviews
of 58 people in Canada, the United States and Italy, all in an effort to gain:
- an understanding of the corporate structure and evolution of ORNGE, a private company;
- an awareness of the performance agreement and reporting structure between ORNGE
and MOHLTC; and,
- insight into the relationships between ORNGE and vendors of aircraft.
The investigation including the forensic accounting work spent on this file - between
February 2012 and April 2017 - required 1,789 hours of time and cost slightly less
than $250,000. The ORNGE corporate structure has been described by the Government
of Canada's forensic accounting agency - Forensic Accounting Management Group (FAMG)
- as "artificial complexity."
Police supported their conclusion of this lengthy investigation without laying
criminal charges by referencing oversight deficiencies identified in the Ontario
Auditor General's March 2012 Special Report (entitled "ORNGE AIR AMBULANCE - FLYING
OUT OF REACH") and Interim Report #1 by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts
("ORNGE AIR AMBULANCE AND RELATED SERVICES") from June of 2013.
OPP Contact Information