Straight Talk
EDITORIAL - Dump Ontario Liberals over gas plant stench

Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli faces the media at Queen's Park on Feb. 21, 2013, following the bombshell announcement that there were yet more documents to be released in the gas plant cancellations.

Credits: ANTONELLA ARTUSO/QMI AGENCY

QMI AGENCY

On Tuesday, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne's new Liberal government brought down its first Throne Speech.

On Thursday, it was caught in its first lie.

The Liberals were forced to admit, for the second time, that they had misled the Legislature in claiming they had released all documents relevant to their controversial decision before the 2011 election to cancel two natural gas plants.

That decision - which the Liberals have acknowledged was done in a bid to save a handful of Grit seats in the election - cost taxpayers at least $230 million, although the opposition parties claim the real figure is $1 billion.

Wynne claimed these new documents, about 600 pages, were discovered Wednesday by the Ontario Power Authority and that she ordered their immediate release.

Last September, the Liberals, then under Dalton McGuinty, released 36,000 pages of documents related to the gas plant closures in a bid to squelch the then-growing scandal, claiming that was all there was.

In October, they were forced to admit they had misled the Legislature, while releasing another 20,000 pages of documents, again assuring the public that was the entire file.

Then McGuinty announced his resignation and shut down the Legislature for 127 days, so the Liberals could elect a new leader while avoiding opposition questioning about the plant cancellations.

Enough is enough. While we take Wynne at her word she didn't personally know about these new documents until Wednesday, the point remains the Liberals cannot be trusted on this file.

They have lied and lied again about it.

We do, however, agree with Wynne on one point.

She has rejected opposition calls for a public inquiry into the scandal, offering instead to testify before a legislative committee probing it and to have the Ontario Auditor General investigate both plant cancellations.

Our point of agreement with Wynne is that we don't think an expensive public inquiry is necessary, either. But not for the reasons she gives.

We believe it's unnecessary because what is already known about this scandal (and others) demonstrates this Liberal government, in power since 2003 and regardless of its recent leadership change, is politically corrupt.

It no longer deserves to be in office and an election is needed to clear the air in Ontario.

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