Horwath steps up attack against Liberals

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NDP Leader Andrea Horwath went on the attack with all guns blazing against Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne Tuesday, saying voters are tired of having their tax money wasted on scandals such as the gas plant fiasco.

“This election is about cleaning up corruption at Queen’s Park,” she told reporters.

Asked why she has propped up a government mired in controversy for two years, Horwath said the turning point for her was when the OPP paid an after-hours visit to the premier’s office and removed hard drives of former staffers of Wynne’s predecessor, Dalton McGuinty.

“When those OPP officers came here and removed those hard drives, I heard from Ontarians that they’d had enough,” she said.

A damning document made public in March but not proven in court, alleged a former chief of staff to ex-premier Dalton McGuinty committed a criminal breach of trust by arranging for another staffer’s techie boyfriend to access 24 desktop computers in the premier’s office as Wynne took over in 2013.

OPP investigators probing the alleged illegal deletion of e-mails executed a search warrant earlier this year on a Mississauga data storage facility used by the provincial government.

According to that warrant, McGuinty’s former chief of staff is suspected of bringing in the boyfriend of a senior political staffer to access government computers even though he was not a member of the Ontario Public Service.

Police seized hard drives so their own experts could determine what, if anything, took place, the warrant says.

Horwath said voters have a choice in this election.

“Do they want to clean up the corruption here at Queen’s Park? Do they want to settle for a Liberal Party that wastes their money, that disrespects them, that’s been mired in scandal and cover-up, or do they want to turn a page and have an Ontario where there’s a leader and a party that’s prepared to work hard day in and day out to get results for them?” she said outside the legislative building.

The provincial auditor revealed the cost to scrap two gas-fired generating plants in Oakville and Mississauga cost a staggering $1.1 billion, despite claims that the Mississauga plant would cost only $40 million.

Last month, Wynne launched a $2 million lawsuit against PC leader Tim Hudak and his energy critic Lisa MacLeod for comments they made regarding the police probe into the deleted e-mail scandal.

Wynne’s statement of claim says Hudak alleged the premier had a role in the “criminal destruction of e-mails and documents related to the gas plant scandal,” and that she “oversaw and possibly ordered the criminal destruction of documents to cover up the gas plant scandal.”

Asked if she feared a similar lawsuit, Horwath said, the evidence speaks for itself.

“I believe the people of this province will look at the evidence in front of them when they go to the polls,” she told reporters.

Horwath was heading to St. Catharines and then on to Fort Erie, when she plans to take in the first race at a track that’s in jeopardy because of Liberal changes to a racetrack slots revenue-sharing program.