Energy Minister Chris Bentley stands up to vote against a motion sending him before a Legislative committee for contempt. The motion passed.
Credits: JONATHAN JENKINS/QMI AGENCY
Ontario Energy Minister Chris Bentley and House leader John Milloy said they hadn't intended to mislead the house when they announced previously that they had released all relevant records related to the cancellation of gas plants in Mississauga and Oakville.
On Friday, the government suddenly dumped an additional 20,000 pages from the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and the Ministry of Energy.
The politicians blamed bureaucrats for the error, saying the civil servants had missed the information in their initial searches.
"At the time, it was my honest belief that the documents that had been released to the clerk comprised all of the documents," Bentley told the legislature.
The Tories had already been pursuing a contempt charge against Bentley over what they argued was an inappropriate delay in releasing information on the decision to axe the plants.
"I don't see why we can believe anything the energy minister says these days, and more importantly, the premier of our province," PC Leader Tim Hudak said Monday. "This is no way to run an energy system. This is no way to run one of the most crucial services in the province of Ontario.
"There now is a pattern which certainly leads us to conclude that there's an orchestrated coverup of information," he said.
Hudak said he remains convinced important documents have yet to be released.
Deputy Tory leader Christine Elliott has already said the party is contemplating a second contempt motion - this time against Bentley, Milloy and Premier Dalton McGuinty.
Hudak said if he were premier, he would kick Bentley out of cabinet.
The Liberals announced their decision to cancel the Mississauga plant last September in the middle of a provincial election campaign.
Opposition parties have dubbed it a "seat saver" program, designed to protect several Liberal MPPs in the Oakville and Mississauga area.
The Liberals say the cost of cancelling the plants adds up to $40 million for the Oakville facility and $190 million for the Mississauga plant, but the opposition believes the price is significantly higher.