A no-holds-barred conversation with the ex-FAO
And Round 3 with Ford
Presented by Serco Canada
ABOVE THE FOLD
PETER WELTMAN keeps getting interrupted.
We’re sipping cappuccinos on a cafe patio off Cumberland Street, a block up from the Legislature. “I assume my pass still works but I don’t know,” he joked when I offered to meet off campus for our interview.
But it seems we picked delivery day, because trucks filled with pastries are backing up into the alleyway next to us, beeping throughout our conversation and cutting him off.
“I feel like it’s a metaphor,” I say.
“Getting cut short — exactly,” Weltman replies, laughing.
He’s got one foot up on the chair with his knee folded to his chest — a much more casual stance than I’m used to from someone who, up until last week, was Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer.
After five years, the budget watchdog’s term has come to an unceremonious end — and it was as much a surprise to him as anyone else. Weltman — whose prolific reports regularly poked holes in the Ford government’s spending plans — was willing to stay on and had asked for clarity on the future of his gig several times but was ignored by both the government and Opposition.
Now, he’s pulling no punches.
“If I wanted to hide behind process, I’d do it this way. And I’m OK to say that.”