Letter to Elections Ontario: investigate alleged bribery attempt in Sudbury

15 December 2014

Mr. Greg Essensa, Chief Electoral Officer

Dear Mr. Essensa, 

I am requesting that Elections Ontario immediately investigate an alleged bribery attempt in Sudbury, Ontario.

This morning, former Sudbury Liberal Candidate Andrew Olivier alleged that he was offered a job or appointment in exchange for not seeking the Liberal Party nomination in the upcoming Sudbury by-election.

According to his statement, Mr. Olivier alleged that he was asked to meet with “Gerry Lougheed, who was contacting me on behalf of the Premier” and  Mr. Lougheed “mentioned that if I stepped aside and endorsed this other person, that I should that I request to see what was in it for me [sic]. Perhaps a job or appointment. ”

After his meeting with Mr. Lougheed, which was held on behalf of the Premier, Mr. Olivier received a call directly from Premier Kathleen Wynne in which he alleges she asked him personally not to run for the nomination.

Mr. Olivier alleges that “finally, on Friday, the head of the Ontario Liberal Party campaign, Pat Sorbara, called me and reiterated suggestions of a job or appointment.” Mr. Olivier describes Ms. Sorbara as the “head of the Ontario Liberal Party campaign.”

As you know, Section 96.1 of the Election Act reads:

Bribery

96.1  No person shall, directly or indirectly,

(a) offer, give, lend, or promise or agree to give or lend any valuable consideration in connection with the exercise or non-exercise of an elector’s vote;

(b) advance, pay or cause to be paid money intending that it be used to commit an offence referred to in clause (a), or knowing that it will be used to repay money used in the same way;

(c) give, procure or promise or agree to procure an office or employment in connection with the exercise or non-exercise of an elector’s vote;

(d) apply for, accept or agree to accept any valuable consideration or office or employment in connection with the exercise or non-exercise of an elector’s vote;

(e) give, procure or promise or agree to procure an office or employment to induce a person to become a candidate, refrain from becoming a candidate or withdraw his or her candidacy. 1998, c. 9, s. 44.

The allegation made by Mr. Olivier is deeply concerning. Mr. Olivier indicated that was being contacted on behalf of the Premier to offer him a job or appointment to induce him to refrain from becoming the Liberal candidate in the upcoming Sudbury by-election. As you know, this is a serious allegation, and a conviction carries a penalty of $25,000 and prison term of two years less a day. 

Ontarians deserve to know if this allegation is true, and if so, who ordered Mr. Lougheed and Ms. Sorbara to offer Mr. Olivier a “job or appointment” in exchange for his withdrawal from the Liberal nomination race.

Given the possibility that a by-election could be called at any time, I request a complete and immediate investigation by your office.

 

 

For your convenience, Mr. Olivier’s statement can be found at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/AndrewOlivierSudbury/posts/728456320556542

 

Sincerely,

Gilles Bisson
MPP, Timmins - James Bay
Ontario NDP House Leader

  

Cc:

Vince Hawkes, Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police
Attorney-General of Ontario, the Hon. Madeleine Meilleur