What is the McGuinty government hiding?

WOODSTOCK – Yesterday the Speaker of the Legislature censured Energy Minister Chris Bentley for refusing to release documents related to the cost of moving power plants from of Liberal ridings, as he was ordered to do four months ago.

“The Liberals are fighting so hard not to reveal these documents to the public that it increasingly appears they have something to hide,” said Hardeman “The rules of the Legislature are there to ensure accountability and transparency for the people of Ontario. People who are dealing with spiraling energy costs deserve to know how much they are paying for this political decision to move the plants.”

In May the Legislative Standing Committee on Estimates which was reviewing the Ministry of Energy’s budgetary estimates ordered the Minister of Energy, Chris Bentley, to produce documents related to the government’s decision to relocate power plants from Oakville and Mississauga. The Minister has refused to do so.

The Minister has estimated that the cost of moving the Mississauga power plant is $190 million. The cost to move the Oakvilleplant is unknown but is rumoured to be as high as $1 billion.

In his ruling the Speaker said “The right to order production of documents is fundamental to and necessary for the proper functioning of the assembly. If the House and its committees do not enjoy this right, then the accountability, scrutiny and financial functions of Parliament—which go to the core of our system of responsible government—would be compromised.”

A further ruling on this issue will be delivered on Monday September 24 if it is not resolved before that date.

“The McGuinty government made the decision to move these power plants in order to help two of their Liberal members win the election – the public has a right to know how much that decision cost,” said Hardeman. “Unless they have something to hide I believe that the McGuinty government should immediately share these documents with the committee and all members of the Legislature as they are required to do.”

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For more information, contact:
Ernie Hardeman, MPP Oxford
(416) 325-1239