Information and Privacy Commissioner Tables Scathing Report on Liberal Gas Plant Scandal
(Queen’s Park) —Today Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner tabled a scathing report on the Liberal gas plant scandal; revealing that senior staff in the Premier’s Office and the Ministry of Energy spoke to the Secretary of Cabinet, Ontario’s highest-ranking civil servant, asking how to permanently delete all email files. They in fact did delete all their files.
It was suspicious to opposition members that within the gas plant documents that they had retained very few emails came from the Premier’s Chief of Staff, senior policy advisors, and senior Ministry of Energy officials; even though we know through sworn testimony it was these staff members who called MPP’s to let them know of the cancellations. The Information and Privacy Commissioner determined this was suspect and launched an investigation.
“The culture of secrecy of this government is appalling,” said Lisa Thompson, MPP (Huron-Bruce). “It is reprehensible that the Premier’s office and the Minister of Energy’s office purposely deleted emails to avoid the truth from being exposed about their involvement in the gas plant scandals.”
Emails obtained by the Progressive Conservatives during the ongoing gas plant hearing have determined that the current Premier is requiring her staff use Gmail accounts to correspond about the gas plant scandal—so they cannot be subject to a Freedom of Information request.
“The new boss is just like the old boss,” said Thompson. “Dalton McGuinty’s staff was permanently deleting emails to evade the gas plant scandal. The current Premier, Kathleen Wynne is directing staff to use personal Gmail accounts to deal with gas plant business. The Liberals will do anything in a desperate effort to make this gas plant scandal disappear.”
“I now have to wonder if the NDP are questioning their coalition deal to keep the governing Liberals alive in the minority parliament,” said Thompson. “In one breath they are harshly critiquing the Liberals for their secrecy and scandals; and in the next breath they are propping them up by supporting their budget. I don’t know what is going on with the third party, but they need to pick a side—either they are in support of or against the gas plant scandal.”