"The [Opposition] parties countered the public is entitled to know how
tax money is being spent, saying the unpopular plant was zapped to save
the seat of Oakville Liberal MPP Kevin Flynn before Premier Dalton
McGuinty was reduced to a minority in last fall's provincial election."
-Rob Ferguson, The Toronto Star, September 21, 2012
ALLISTON, ON, Sept. 23, 2012 /CNW/ - To ensure the Liberals are held
accountable for months of hiding documents on their "seat saver" gas
plant cancellations, the Ontario PCs are moving forward with a contempt
motion against Energy Minister Chris Bentley on Tuesday, PC House
Leader Jim Wilson said today.
"Untold millions were wasted on cancelling the Oakville and Mississauga
gas plants - and the McGuinty Liberals have tried every trick in the
book to hide the true cost from taxpayers," Wilson said. "They know
they broke the law. This PC motion sends a clear message to the
Liberals: you're not above the law, and you must be held accountable."
Regardless of whether the government produces the requested documents on
Monday, the PCs intend to introduce a motion that would - if passed -
enable one of the Legislative Committees to conduct a proper
investigation of the contempt charges and gas plant cancellations. The
motion would also empower the Sergeant-at-Arms to verify that the
government and external groups have produced all requested documents in
full, ensuring that none are missing or edited.
The motion follows months of attempts by the government to avoid
releasing all requested information, including the Liberals' desperate
plea for total secrecy if the Opposition parties saw the content. In
the summer, Bentley confessed the cost for cancelling the Mississauga
plant was a $190-million politically-motivated decision made during the
2011 election. The cost for cancelling the Oakville plant and
relocating both plants remains a mystery.
"This is a sad day for Ontarians when such extraordinary steps must be
taken to keep the current government honest about their decisions - and
their abuse of tax dollars," Wilson stated. "What makes this even more
foul is the fact the Liberals did this knowing full well the
consequences for their illegal actions. They knew a Minister's legal
and political career was in jeopardy."
Contempt of the House is considered extremely serious, Wilson continued.
Punishment for a person found in contempt may range from jail time to
being brought before the Bar of the House to be censured and admonished
by the Speaker. In addition, if complaints are brought against the
Energy Minister and censure occurs, the Law Society of Upper Canada
could professionally sanction him for ignoring an order of the
Legislature, as he is a lawyer.
"The consequences for this outrageous abuse of power are severe for a
reason," Wilson concluded. "They're intended to ensure governments
protect taxpayers - not their own hides."
SOURCE: Ontario PC Caucus
For further information:
Christine Bujold (416) 325-1330 email@example.com