Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak is on thin legal ice when he claims Premier Kathleen Wynne “oversaw and possibly ordered the destruction” of government documents. He should return himself to solid ground as soon as possible.
Mr. Hudak was responding to allegations by the Ontario Provincial Police that a former chief of staff to Dalton McGuinty committed a criminal breach of trust when he gave a non-government IT specialist access to computers containing potentially sensitive documents, along with an order to “wipe clean” the hard drives. The OPP alleges that this happened in February, 2013, during the transitional period shortly before Mr. McGuinty left office and Ms. Wynne took his place.
The OPP’s investigation stems from the cancellations of two provincial power plants in 2010 and 2011. The moves, which the provincial auditor-general says could cost taxpayers up to $1.1-billion, were widely seen as election-campaign ploys orchestrated by Mr. McGuinty’s government, facing the possibility of electoral defeat. A subsequent committee hearing into the cancellations, and now the OPP’s bombshell, raise legitimate and growing concerns about the possibility of a cover-up of the true costs by the McGuinty government, including deletion of government documents.
Mr. Hudak has been a persistent thorn in the Liberals’ side about the gas plants, and with good reason. But his claim that Premier Wynne was personally behind any wiping of government computers, when there is no evidence to support such an allegation, goes too far. It’s odd behaviour from the Leader of the Opposition, and unnecessary. The gas-plant scandal is ugly enough, and the Ontario Liberal Party deserves to wear it. Mr. Hudak doesn’t need to dress it up with false accusations.