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Friday, September 14, 2012

McGuinty Liberals having their legislature knuckles rapped

| Picture credit: Toronto Sun

The Ontario Liberals, led by Premier Dalton McGuinty had their knuckles rapped by Dave Levac, speaker of the Ontario Legislature, who found a prima facie case that the Liberal government were in contempt of parliament.

The issue leading to the Speaker’s ruling is the cancellation of natural gas fired power plants scheduled to be built in Mississauga and Oakville. The province had already spent millions of dollars on planning for the electrical production facilities, and residents were repeatedly told we just had to have them in those locations.

But, once the proposed plants threatened to cost the Liberal party votes in last October’s general election, the government made an about face and cancelled the plants’ or moved them to other locations.

The Ontario Energy Minister Chris Bentley testified in July that the choice to kill the plant in Mississauga was made by the Liberal campaign team and not his ministry—that is, it was purely a political decision.

Mr. Bentley has also produced documents establishing the price of killing the Mississauga power plant during the election campaign at $190-million. A staggering amount when one realizes taxpayers will have received nothing of value for the money. And we can expect a similar price tag for cancelling the Oakville plant.

The Liberals, however, have tried to hide the costs of cancelling the Oakville plant, and Mr. Bentley has declined to produce documents asked for by the legislature’s expenditures committee.

This led to the Progressive Conservatives asking Speaker Levac to investigate and rule whether the minister’s refusal constituted a breach of privilege for members of the legislature.

The Speaker has stopped short of finding Minister Bentley in contempt of parliament—for now. He has ordered the three Ontario party leaders to agree on a settlement by September 24. Failure to do so should result in a vote to find Minister Bentley in contempt. And, of course, since the opposition parties can outvote the minority government, the Liberals likely lose any such vote.

The Grits, obviously, are trying to hide the full cost of their political shenanigans. With the Speaker’s ruling, however, we probably will finally find out what this is going to cost us. These guys really are over the top.

As I asked a couple of days ago when writing about the federal Liberals, where is all the moral outrage from sanctimonious Liberals? You know, the sort of stuff we hear and read in the mainstream media and in Liberal blogs whenever there is a hint of wrongdoing by conservatives.”

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