The Auditor General’s report to the Ontario Legislature on Oct. 8 finally gave us the true cost of cancelling the Oakville gas plant.
The report leaves former Premier Dalton McGuinty’s legacy in tatters.
But its repercussions continue to reverberate at Queen’s Park.
After claiming for months that it cost $585 million to cancel the Mississauga and Oakville gas plants (as if that number might somehow be acceptable to voters), Premier Kathleen Wynne has now apologized to Ontarians for the fact that the actual cost has been shown to be over $1 billion.
Premier Wynne hopes that this late expression of contrition is an acceptable response. She hopes that voters will blame her predecessor for the waste and the cover-up.
She also hopes that by the time the next election rolls around, voters will have forgotten about the misuse of taxpayers money to prop up five nervous Liberal MPPs, who feared losing their seats in 2011.
She hopes that voters can’t understand what one billion dollars is, and won’t understand how it could have been better spent to benefit the people of Ontario. She hopes she can “change the channel.”
Premier Wynne overlooks four things. She was a senior cabinet minister in the McGuinty government. She signed a key document related to the cancellation decisions. She was co-chair of the 2011 Liberal election campaign, along with Greg Sorbara. She was premier while the Liberals deliberately understated the true cost of cancelling the gas plants.
Premier Wynne will not be able to evade responsibility for her role in this scandalous waste of more than $1 billion.
This was a conscious, deliberate decision to place the political survival of the Liberal government ahead of the interest of the people of Ontario. That is simply unacceptable.
The Liberals have lost their moral right to govern. They don’t deserve to be in power, even for another day.
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Ontario PC Party Leader Tim Hudak recently announced his new shadow cabinet, and he assigned me additional responsibilities within our caucus.
I continue to serve as our Critic to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, and as First Deputy Chair of the Committee of the Whole House (assistant Speaker).
Now I also serve as Critic to the Minister of Research and Innovation. I hope to continue to play a constructive role in all of these positions.
However, as always, the concerns and interests of my constituents come first. That will never change.
Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott welcomes comments. He can be reached at 1-800-265-2366. His website is www.tedarnottmpp.com.