Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said the assertion should be made to authorities, not reporters.
Credits: Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency
WATERLOO, Ont. -- A retired Mountie's suggestion that Ontario politics has been penetrated by organized crime needs to be made to authorities -- not reporters, Premier Dalton McGuinty insisted Tuesday.
"If there are serious and warranted allegations, they need to be made in a substantive way, not through the media," McGuinty said as he attended the International Plowing Match in Roseville, near Waterloo.
"I have no reason to believe that they would want to keep this quiet and confidential if it is in fact grounded in reality."
McGuinty was reacting to comments from retired RCMP chief superintendent Ben Soave, who told a Radio-Canada show that Quebec's problems with political corruption -- the subject of a public inquiry -- are also occurring in Ontario.
"They have the same problem, the same corruption. One finds the same groups linked to organized crime. They are just more discrete," Soave told the Quebec TV show.
"The political world, the police arena, the justice system, the manufacturing sector, nobody can escape it ... Sometimes politicians are very naive. They do not pay attention to the danger or the risk and they shake hands and accept some money."
McGuinty said he had never heard anyone suggest organized crime is contributing money to politics in Ontario and said he would expect any law enforcement officials with suspicions to have raised them.
"If there's some truth to this then let's get it on the table, let's provide us with the background to this and I'm sure that people in positions of responsibility would want to reflect on that and make sure we're getting the best information," McGuinty said.
Soave spent 35 years in the RCMP and headed up elite organized crime units in Ontario.
Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak said he was surprised to hear such allegations.
"I don't see that in any of my colleagues in any of the parties," Hudak said.
"Any time you hear that, obviously you're concerned and hopefully if there's more information to come forward, it will come forward."
New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath was also taken aback.
"It's something that's quite disconcerting and I was troubled to hear it," she said.