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Wynne cannot win. The Ontario Premier’s coming electoral loss-to-be was written long before she became Liberal leader earlier this month. The now infamous story of the cancellation of two Ontario gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga — the latter during the last election — continues oh-so-justly to hound the Ontario Liberals. It has utterly blasted Liberal credibility in Ontario.
Yesterday, for the second time, Ontario Power Authority officials were fidgeting on camera about documents that were overlooked or skipped in previous searches on the file. They were at awkward and uncomfortable pains to assert that in this unfolding mess nothing had been held back deliberately. It was all blamed on a bad “search” heading. Something to do with computers.
Their assertion was echoed with even greater gaucherie in the Ontario legislature by Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli. He was heard to boast: “We took the initiative when we found out about these documents to release them of our own volition.”
Wow. Their own volition, eh? The Minister was actually bragging about doing what the law and honour require him to do. Truly we are in a golden age of democracy and public accountability.
Well, whether it was from fear that the documents would find the light anyway, or some last minute spasms of piety on the part of the now tattered Liberal government, release a new batch of documents they did. And that re-triggered much of the fury that attended the story when it first broke. NDP leader Andrea Horwath in particular gave vent to white-hot disgust, while the Conservatives looked on with Cheshire-cat glee.
Kathleen Wynne, remember, was part of the wily McGuinty team that voted to shut down the Mississauga plant — to appease voters during the 2011 election campaign. It was as cynical a move as politics allows (and, apparently, then some).
For the rest of this column, please go to the National Post website: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/02/23/rex-murphy-ontario-has-a-dead-government-walking/