Kathleen Wynne ‘involved all along’ in gas-plant cancellations, opposition says – by Sue-Ann Levy (Toronto Sun – July 25, 2013)


A little more than six weeks ago at the committee hearing evidence into the gas plant scandal, Premier Kathleen Wynne denied — under oath — all involvement in the decision to cancel the plants or to delete key e-mails related to a move that could cost taxpayers as much as $1-billion.

“Those were decisions that were made by other people in other conversations and I wasn’t part of those conversations, I wasn’t in those rooms,” the premier said at the time.

At the time I was highly skeptical that she sat on the sidelines blissfully unaware of this evolving scandal considering she was co-chair of the 2011 Liberal election campaign.

But when a letter surfaced Wednesday — in response to a request from the gas plant committee to dig deeper for the supposedly deleted gas plant e-mails — it pointed to far more involvement by Ontario’s unelected premier than she’d care to admit.

In that letter, deputy minister of government services Kevin Costante confirms to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy that — poof! — as if by magic some 3,226 backup tapes have been suddenly been found for 13 Liberal politicians and staffers that could contain “potentially responsive” e-mails related to the cancellation of the two gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga, a.k.a Project Vapour Lock.

Some 1,233 of those back-up tapes contain Wynne’s e-mails — one, two, a dozen or hundreds on each tape — from 2010 until now. Another 1,494 back-up tapes are chock full of e-mails from former energy minister Chris Bentley’s account.

That’s a heckuva lot of e-mails for both. I’m assuming neither of them were using their accounts to make dinner reservations at their fave bistro or to buy the latest hot deals off of e-Bay.

The letter accompanied 3,026 e-mails formerly belonging to Bentley’s chief of staff, Craig MacLennan — e-mails he told the committee in April he’d deleted to maintain a clean inbox policy and which have not suddenly been found.

PC MPP Vic Fedeli said Wednesday the latest letter shows Wynne has “clearly been involved” in the scandal all along and she should just cough up her e-mails willingly.

But here’s where the story gets really ridiculous — absolutely disgraceful, actually.

Costante, no doubt under orders from his Liberal taskmasters (Ms. Wynne and Co.) informs the committee in his letter that it will cost them up to $3.5-million to actually retrieve the e-mails on those tapes — ones that should have been offered up freely ages ago (had they not been deleted, of course.)

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