TORONTO - The opposition parties are demanding deputy premier Deb Matthews resign, claiming she failed to act as Ontario health minister to prevent problems at the Ornge air ambulance service.

A legislative committee found the Liberal government ignored repeated red flags about financial irregularities and operational problems at Ornge for years.

Interim Progressive Conservative Leader Jim Wilson says Matthews should go to "the penalty box for a while" because she failed as health minister to provide proper oversight of Ornge.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says the committee found Matthews did not do her job and was incompetent, and suggests the then-health minister wilfully ignored problems at the air ambulance service.

Premier Kathleen Wynne is defending Matthews and wants the opposition parties to help pass two-year-old legislation that would allow more direct oversight of Ornge.

The Ontario Provincial Police are conducting a criminal probe into financial irregularities at Ornge, which receives about $150 million a year in provincial funding.