Gas plants report shows Liberal cover-up of a Liberal cover-up

Queen’s Park – NDP Justice critic Jagmeet Singh said the government’s committee report into the billion dollar gas plant scandal is more Liberal whitewash and a carefully orchestrated cover-up.

“This scandal began because the Liberals tried to cover up a billion dollar scandal, and this report is an attempt to cover-up the cover-up. The Liberals wasted $1.1 billion to save a few Liberal seats in the 2011 election. They tried to hide it and they got caught red-handed,” said Singh.

According to OPP court documents, Deputy Chief of Staff Laura Miller and her partner Peter Faist, were key to the Liberal email deletion schemes. They have since fled to BC, and Kathleen Wynne has refused numerous requests to bring them to Ontario to testify before the committee, to give testimony about who was giving the orders.

“The very people at the heart of the scandal continue to be protected by Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals. The Liberals took every step to make sure the committee didn’t hear from Miller and Faist about their roles in the gas plant scandal and cover-up and who was running the show” said Singh.  “New documents released in December revealed even more Senior Liberals like Dave Gene, Neala Barton and Wendy McCann are implicated in the scandal, emails may have been backed up on secret USB drives and might still exist, and senior Liberals took every step possible to get around FOI laws.  This scandal is growing, not shrinking.”

The report details the fact that the Liberals attempted to mislead Ontarians about the true costs of the gas plants, and that the Premier’s Office was at the centre of a wide-spread email deletion scheme. This culture of cover-ups extended right in to the report writing phase, as Liberal committee members voted down timelines,  created by non-partisan committee staff such as the “Timeline for Issues Related to Document Disclosure and Retention” and removing references in the approved timline to the October 5, 2010 meetings between TransCanada and the Premier’s Office in which the Premier’s Office promised to make the private power company “whole” in the event of any cancellation.

Singh noted that Liberal members refused to address the question of whether the Liberal government was in contempt, and that Liberal MPPs ensured the committee was barred from asking any questions about attempts by senior Liberal insiders to bully the Speaker of the House, something which was detailed in internal emails between senior Liberal staff.

“People want a government that is focused on their needs; like making sure schools are open, our healthcare system keeps people healthy, we take care of our most vulnerable neighbours and the government actually respects the people of Ontario,” said Singh. “Not one, but two Liberal Premiers made the decision to put the interests of the Liberal Party first, and put honesty, integrity and the people of Ontario a distant second. Ontarians deserve the truth.”

“Kathleen Wynne protected Dalton McGuinty’s Deputy Chief of Staff Laura Miller so she wouldn’t testify about her role in Criminal Breach of Trust which is being investigated by the OPP Anti-Rackets Branch,” continued Singh. “Today, Kathleen Wynne is protecting her own Deputy Chief of Staff Pat Sorbara regarding her role in the Sudbury Bribery scandal which is also under Criminal investigation by the OPP Anti-Rackets Branch. Kathleen Wynne said things were going to be different. The Premier apologized for the gas plant scandal, but she’s doing the same things over again.”