On Tuesday, during Question Period, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath again questioned what role the Premier played in the alleged bribery scandal that has her top aide facing charges by the OPP under the Elections Act.
Patricia Sorbara, the Premier’s former Deputy Chief of Staff and current CEO of the Liberal party and Campaign Chair, along with prominent Sudbury Liberal Party member Gerry Lougheed, allegedly bribed former Liberal candidate Andrew Olivier to stay out of the nomination process in exchange for a job or appointment with Wynne’s Liberal government.
“I don’t think anybody believes that Mr. Lougheed and Ms. Sorbara offered the alleged bribe to Andrew Olivier on their own,” said Horwath. “Can the Premier tell us, if it was not her directly, who in her office ordered these calls be made on her behalf?”
The Premier had consistently stood by Sorbara and insisted that no wrongdoing had taken place in the lead up to the byelection campaign in January of last year. She even went so far as to promote Sorbara within the Liberal ranks, leading the NDP to question whether the people of Ontario deserve better leadership and better accountability than what the Premier has demonstrated so far in her handling of yet another scandal.
“It has been known for some time that something happened in the Sudbury by-election that may very well have broken the law,” said Horwath. “The Premier chose to deal with that, not by asking the people involved to step aside until the issue is resolved, but instead by promoting the people involved to run not just a byelection, but now an entire Liberal general election campaign.”
Horwath added her voice to the growing chorus of opposition members, journalists and members of the public seeking clarification on exactly what Kathleen Wynne’s role was in the scandal.
“Now that charges are being laid, the Premier has a chance to do the right thing and to make clear her role and the role that anyone else in her office played in Sudbury in the lead up to the January 2015 byelection,” Horwath finished.
So far, Horwath’s calls for clarity have been ignored by the Liberal Premier and her party.