Speaker to rule on Bentley, Contempt
27 August 2012
Rob Leone, MPP Cambridge, raised a Point of Privilege today outlining grounds to find Minister Chris Bentley in contempt of the Legislature.
The Point of Privilege comes on the heels of the Minister’s May 30th appearance at the Standing Committee on Estimates, where he refused to answer the Committee’s questions and disclose information relating to the cancellation of gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga.
“It’s outrageous” Leone said Monday, “The Minister deliberately disobeyed the will of both the all-party committee and the legislature in order to protect Liberal seats.“
Bentley and the McGuinty government came under fire after it was revealed that the Liberal campaign team made the decision to spend $190M of taxpayer’s money to scrap a power plant in Mississauga.
Leone says the Minister’s refusal to provide the requested documents is example enough of contempt of the Legislature. Under current House of Commons procedure and practice, refusing to answer a question or to provide information constitutes a breach of the House’s privilege.
He added that the Minister has been less than forthcoming.
“Step one was to make play politics with taxpayer money and step two was sweeping it under the rug. It’s clear to everyone in this province that this government will break any rule necessary in order to cling to power.”
The Point of Privilege cites a previous ruling by Speaker Peter Milliken on the Afghan detainee case in which the current Federal government was found in contempt of the Legislature for withholding information deemed vital national security.
“This information is certainly no more sensitive than information related to national security.” Leone pointed out. “If this government had their way, they would keep every dirty little secret from the past nine years hidden away”