Leone: Committee Will Investigate Liberal Gas Plant Scandal
02 October 2012
“The relocation of these two gas-fired power plants has nothing to do with meeting the province’s long-term energy needs and everything to do with local politics and saving Liberal seats…Moreover the bill for this mess won’t stop at $230 million.”
- Editorial, The Toronto Star, September 25, 2012
QUEEN’S PARK – Today the Legislature voted in favour of re-striking the Finance Committee to investigate the Liberals’ scandalous decision to cancel two gas plants that have cost taxpayers at least $640 million. Today’s passage will empower the Committee, which the Liberals have been blocking, to decide the extent to which Energy Minister Chris Bentley should be held in contempt for withholding documents, Cambridge Ontario PC MPP Rob Leone said.
“With the motion passed, we’ll be able to start getting to the bottom of these outrageous and politically-motivated decisions by the Liberals to cancel the Oakville and Mississauga gas plants,” Leone said. “Taxpayers deserve to know the truth about why $640 million – and possibly hundreds of millions more – were wasted to save a few Liberals seats during the last general election.”
The Liberals’ ongoing refusal to release all documents in full on the gas plant cancellations resulted in the Legislature grinding to a halt last week as the House debated the motion of contempt. Yesterday, the Ontario PCs triggered a vote to end the debate, which put forward a motion to refer the matter to Committee for an in-depth investigation of the Minister’s actions, the extent of Liberal political interference, and the true cost of the gas plant fiasco.
The Committee will report back on its findings to the Legislature by November 19.
“The Liberals have yet to show even a flicker of recognition that their deliberate policy decisions and reckless overspending have put Ontario on track to tripling its debt to $411-billion by 2017,” Leone stated. “By referring the matter to Committee, we’ll ensure the Liberals are held accountable for their gross mismanagement of the province’s energy file and public funds.”
Leone noted that the wasted tax dollars could have gone towards important public services such as front-line healthcare and education – or even paying down the debt. And that figure doesn’t even account for the billions of tax dollars wasted on other Liberal scandals, including eHealth and Ornge.
“The committee process will ensure the Liberals answer to the public – to the hard-working taxpayers who already have to deal with skyrocketing energy prices as many struggle daily to pay their bills or to even find a job,” Leone concluded.