In the wake of an explosive report from the Auditor General on the Wynne Liberals’ “Unfair” Hydro Plan which showed the government tried to keep its true costs buried by “making up” accounting rules, the Ontario PCs demanded accountability and called for an investigation.
Since the report was released, it has been revealed that the Ministry of Energy stonewalled attempts from the Auditor General to access documents, and spent $500,000 on lawyers to stall the release of key documents pertaining to the Liberals’ hydro scheme.
Secondly, it’s been revealed that media have seen Freedom of Information requests rejected on the basis that none of the requested documents exist, while statements from Wynne Liberal Ministers in the House would contradict this.
The Ontario PCs are:Calling on the Information and Privacy Commissioner to investigate apparent misconduct in order to determine why the Wynne Liberals have delayed or refused to hand over hydro documents.
Calling on the Independent Electricity System Operators to appear before a Standing Committee to explain how the Wynne Liberals ordered a questionable change to the accounting methods to bury the true costs of their hydro scheme.
Calling on the Secretary of the Cabinet to ensure that all correspondence pertaining to this matter are preserved, and to ensure that no ministers or staff have deleted emails or files, and finally to prevent a cover-up.
Full statement from Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown:
“There is a clear pattern of Liberal political corruption under Kathleen Wynne. After 14 years, they’ve lost the ability to distinguish between the public interest and the Liberal Party of Ontario interest. To them, they are one and the same.
“From the gas plant billions, to selling access to ministers, to awarding subsidies to their donors, no rule, no convention, no sense of propriety stands in their way. They dispense with them all whenever it suits them.
“This week, Ontario’s Auditor General uncovered an appalling attempt to hide the true $4 billion cost of Kathleen Wynne’s hydro rebate scheme, a price which will be paid by ratepayers.
“She concluded senior government officials knowingly ignored the government’s own policy for preparing financial statements to create an unnecessary, complex, financing structure designed to keep the true financial impact of its rate reduction scheme off the province’s books.
“More damningly, the Auditor General said the Canadian Public Sector Accountability Standards are the standard for all federal and provincial governments of Canada and that the Liberal Government “has brushed aside these standards”. The unavoidable and very strong suggestion is that something highly improper has transpired.
“In the real world of ordinary people, when you break rules, there are consequences.
“If a publicly owned company attempted to deceive shareholders in the same way, the perpetrators would face prosecution.
“What’s further, in her report, the Auditor General confirmed she had still not received all of the documents she had requested dating back to May 31, 2017.
“Those responsible should be held accountable.
“I am, therefore, calling on the Information and Privacy Commissioner, to investigate apparent misconduct.
“The Ontario PC caucus will also call for the IESO to appear before the Standing Committee on Justice Policy.
“And finally, I have instructed my Chief of Staff to write to the Secretary to the Cabinet to ensure that all correspondence pertaining to this matter is preserved, a necessary precaution in view of past Liberal behaviour in similar circumstances.
“We do not have to accept political corruption as a matter of course in Ontario.
“It’s time someone took a stand, drew a line in the sand, and said, ‘enough!’
“Kathleen Wynne, the Liberal Party of Ontario, and their insider friends have to know: the days when they can break the rules to their own benefit are coming to an end.”