McGuinty Liberals Can't Handle Complex Policy Files
19 July 2012
“This was a campaign undertaking…at a time when I think we were still behind in the polls…”
– Minister of Finance Dwight Duncan on the expensive decision to cancel the Mississauga Power Plant
QUEEN’S PARK – After spending the day contradicting testimony provided by Energy Minister Chris Bentley, Finance Minister Dwight Duncan demonstrated why the Liberal Government is incapable of handling policy files like Ontario’s $15-billion energy system, PC MPP Michael Harris said today.
“We have seen that the Liberals cannot run an air ambulance service, nor can they set up an electronic health network. Now, we know they cannot handle the construction of a power plant,” said Harris. “This is further demonstrated by the fact that two senior Liberal Ministers are unable to get their stories straight, providing contradictory answers while testifying at the Standing Committee on Estimates.”
In addition to contradicting the Minister of Energy’s answers, the Finance Minister was unable to explain why contingency funding, normally set aside for unavoidable disasters such as the mall collapse in Elliot Lake, was used to pay for an expensive and irresponsible campaign decision to relocate the Mississauga power plant. Rather than responding to a simple question about it, the Minister lashed out, lobbing personal insults at Harris.
“The McGuinty Government’s 11-hour decision to cancel the Mississauga gas plant was done with no cost-benefit analysis. To them this decision was solely about political interests, as a part of their Liberal seat-saver program,” Harris said.
Documents show that the Liberals were so desperate to save their seats in Mississauga that, to avoid being sued, the McGuinty Government fronted $1.2 million to Greenfield South’s financier because Greenfield South defaulted on a payment.
“The Energy Minister announced that the bill for the relocation of the Mississauga gas plant was $180 million and the price keeps climbing. The Finance Minister confirmed in Estimates that the price will increase to $190 million and now with this default payment from OPA, we are now at $191.2 million,” Harris said.
“The Mississauga gas plant scandal is just example of Liberal incompetence. This cancellation shows that the Liberals are no longer up to the job of managing complex policy files and that they have no problem using taxpayers’ money to further their own partisan interests,” concluded Harris.