Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak returned to the site of one of two cancelled gas plants Saturday to accuse Premier Kathleen Wynne of abandoning her principles by being part of a government that decided to scrap the energy projects to save Liberal seats.
Hudak stood in front of the would-be plant in Mississauga to mark the one-year anniversary of Ontario Provincial Police launching a criminal investigation into the cancellations, which are estimated to cost up to $1.1 billion.
He said that while Wynne, by her own account, entered politics to help people, she betrayed those beliefs by being part of her predecessor’s government, which chose to nix the two projects prior to the 2011 election.
“She faced a pivotal choice when Dalton McGuinty put in front of her a document to put a billion dollars into that hole behind me,” Hudak said as he stood in front of the half-built facility.
“She should have said no. She said yes. And that tells me now she’s more about helping herself and helping the Liberals than helping you.”
The decision to scrap the plans was made under McGuinty, but Hudak said since Wynne was a member of cabinet at the time, she backed the cancellations.
Hudak is calling on Wynne to release all documents related to the decision, and is pledging to launch a judicial inquiry into the matter if he is elected, regardless of whether he gets a majority or a minority.
Meanwhile, Wynne is asking voters to judge her on her record since she came into power last year, and has said that she’s taken steps to ensure such costly cancellations never happen again.
She has apologized repeatedly for what she admits was “a breach of trust” with taxpayers and a waste of money when the Liberals made a “partisan” decision to cancel the gas plants.
Hudak, who had supported scrapping the Mississauga and Oakville projects, told reporters that if he had been in government the Mississauga location would have never been short-listed as a potential site.
It was revealed this week that the OPP are seeking additional documents from legislative — not political — staff, and though Wynne said she has no control over that process and is co-operating with the investigation, Hudak said an inquiry is needed to get “full answers for taxpayers.”
“The sad reality is that the cover-up continues,’ he said, referring to the alleged deletion of documents related to the killing of the plants.
The documents being sought by police include visitor logs from the days before Wynne took office, and the Tories are questioning whether her transition team is linked in any way to the requested records.
The Liberals quickly shot back, insisting that Wynne’s transition staff are not included in the court order.
The Ontario election is on Thursday.