Former Ring of Fire negotiator charged in gas plant scandal – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – December 18, 2015)

David Livingston, a one-time provincial Ring of Fire negotiator, is one of two top aides of former Premier Dalton McGuinty facing criminal charges over the destruction of government documents related to the controversial cancellation of the two Toronto-area gas plants.

Livingston and Laura Miller are each charged with breach of trust, mischief in relation to data, and misuse of a computer system to commit the offence of mischief.

The charges stem from an OPP investigation into the deletion of thousands of government emails concerning the Liberal government’s decision to the plants prior to the 2011 election. The provincial auditor general determined cost ratepayers more than $1 billion.

In early 2012, Livingston was the Ontario government’s designated negotiator in working on a term sheet with Cliffs Natural Resources and their plans to develop a proposed $3.3-billion chromite mine in the James Bay region and a refinery in Northern Ontario.

After a 30-year banking career with Toronto Dominion, Livingston joined the public sector in 2005 and was the CEO of Infrastructure Ontario (IO), before becoming McGuinty’s chief of staff in May 2012.

Perhaps in a sign of things to come for the Ring of Fire, Bill Boor, then-Cliffs’ executive vice-president of corporate development, expressed his frustrations in an email over negotiations with Livingston and the province in nailing down specific mining-related commitments

In a March 9, 2012 email to deputy minister Northern Development and Mines George Ross, Boor called the province’s latest proposal “insufficient from my perspective.”

With the province insistent that the chromite processing remain in Ontario, negotiations revolved around the location of the refinery, power, mine infrastructure, revenue and royalties, among other issues.

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