QUEEN’S PARK – The Ontario PC Caucus continues to pressure the Liberal Government to come clean regarding the 2011 campaign decision to cancel two gas-fired power plants, at a cost to Ontario taxpayers of over $1 billion. The Liberal Campaign Team apparently made the decision to save four vulnerable Liberal-held ridings. Premier Kathleen Wynne co-chaired the Liberal Party’s campaign.
MPP Jim McDonell commented: “The Liberals have used every trick in the book to avoid accountability. When Estimates Committee issued a clear order to release relevant documents, they refused to comply. When the Committee reported this to the Legislature, they refused to comply. Under a Speaker’s warrant, they finally released the first 60,000 pages of incriminating documents, which had been heavily redacted, attachments omitted and whited-out. When pressured, Ministers assured the House all documents had been made available, which was exposed as false when over 30,000 extra whited-out pages were handed over, resulting in the Government being held in contempt. Dalton McGuinty then prorogued the Legislature and killed all Committee investigations and the contempt motion.”
Yesterday, as required by Legislative rules, MPP Rob Leone re-introduced the contempt motion, at the objection of the Liberal Wynne government.
MPP McDonell continued: “We now see the release of additional documents that the Liberals are saying they had no knowledge of just yesterday morning. How naïve do they think Ontarians are? Do they really expect us to believe that yesterday they knew nothing about these additional documents? There are e-mails implicating Ministers and the whole Cabinet in a scheme code-named Project Vapour. Code names are used to avoid Freedom of Information requests – they serve no other purpose. They even discussed communication strategies if the story was leaked to the public.”
MPPs Rob Leone and Todd Smith re-tabled the respective contempt motions that had been voided by the prorogation, and a Standing Committee will have the opportunity to use its limited powers to investigate the power plant cancellations. MPP Jim McDonell reiterates this is not enough: “Over one billion of taxpayers’ dollars were poured into a Liberal seat-saver program to save four seats and the Legislature was grossly misled. It is abundantly clear the Liberals are hiding their misdeeds and will stop at nothing to keep Ontarians in the dark. We need a more powerful Select Committee to get to the bottom of this. Ontarians deserve the truth and nothing less”.
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