Gas plants probe fails to deter many voters
Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne is pictured during a campaign stop in Bradford on Friday. (QMI AGENCY PHOTO)
Once upon a time, when the OPP anti-rackets squad came a knocking on your door, your chances of getting elected were dead.
Not any more.
As the latest developments in the probe into the gas plant scandal and the deletion of e-mails in the office of former premier Dalton McGuinty came to light, it appears more than one-third of voters are still prepared to vote for the Liberals.
OPP confirmed Friday they’ve obtained an Ontario Court of Justice order requesting Queen’s Park officials to hand over all records of visits made to the building by Peter Faist.
Faist is the tech-savvy boyfriend of Laura Miller, a senior staffer in former premier Dalton McGuinty’s office. He’s alleged to have been brought in to wipe clean the hard drives on 24 computers of staffers in McGuinty’s office.
Faist’s lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.
OPP spokesman Pierre Chamberland said officers asked for records of Faist visiting Queen’s Park between June 1, 2010 and March 30, 2014.
Cops have also asked for the legislature’s access control policy. They have 10 days to comply — so it won’t happen before the June 12 vote.
The timing of this has nothing to do with the Ontario Provincial Police Association attack ads aimed at PC leader Tim Hudak, Chamberland said.
He was aware of this development last week, before the ads hit the airwaves.
“The timing is part of the ongoing investigation by the OPP and it should be viewed exclusively in that light,” he said.
The news sent shockwaves through the campaign buses. But outside the rarefied atmosphere of Queen’s Park politics, does anyone care?
The Liberals wasted $1 billion on eHealth — and voters yawned and re-elected them. Then there was Ornge. Another yawn as millions of dollars were flushed down the toilet.
Gas plants planned for Oakville and Mississauga were scrapped — at a cost of $1.1 billion, according to the provincial auditor. Liberals say the other two parties would have scrapped them as well. That’s not good enough.
The other two parties didn’t site the plants where the Liberals chose to put them. They didn’t hand out the lucrative contracts to private companies and then insist on “making them whole,” when they didn’t have to, according to the auditor.
They could have scrapped the plants and not racked up the kind of bills we saw.
PC leader Tim Hudak will call a judicial inquiry in his first 100 days in office if he becomes premier.
“It’s actually quite extraordinary that the elite anti-rackets squad of the OPP has to investigate the premier’s office in the first place,” he told reporters.
“We need answers. My first 100 days, I will set up judicial inquiry just like Justice Gomery to get answers for taxpayers and ensure it never ever happens again under any political party of any stripe.”
At a stop in Newmarket, Wynne told reporters she’s been up front about the issue.
“When I was entrusted with the role of premier, I made a clear promise to the people of Ontario that my government and I would be open and transparent on the matter of the relocation of the gas plants.
“We have been and we will continue to be.”
Latest Liberal ads target Hudak for being part of Mike Harris’s government.
Funny how Wynne is running from the gas plant scandal, saying it wasn’t her government.
If she’s going to smear Hudak for being part of Harris’ government almost 20 years ago, then she can wear McGuinty’s mess from last year.