The cost of Ontario’s bungled push toward electronic health records for every patient ballooned to more than $1 billion as successive Liberal and Progressive Conservative governments scrambled to bring the system online, says a critical new auditor general’s report into the eHealth Ontario spending scandal.

The Toronto Star has learned auditor general Jim McCarter’s probe, slated for release next week, blasts Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals for exacerbating problems that began under the previous Conservative administration and continuing a legacy of failure to modernize health records.

“It ain’t pretty. This is not a happy tale,” a senior official said yesterday.

“I was surprised, because there was a lot of stuff in there I didn’t know and I thought I knew all the bad stuff. Not true. (McCarter) did a very thoughtful job in asking the right questions.”