QUEENS PARK – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is threatening to take legal action against Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak and the PC Party. The Premier has issued an ‘Open Letter’ to the PC Party and Leader Tim Hudak.
The Office of the Premier states in a media statement, “Premier Kathleen Wynne sent the attached open letter this morning to Mr. Tim Hudak, the Leader of the Official Opposition and Leader of the Ontario PC Party.
“In the letter, Premier Wynne asks the PC Leader, his caucus, and his party to stop making false and defamatory accusations regarding allegations that an individual came into the former Premier’s office to delete records.
“Contrary to Mr. Hudak’s false statements, this did not happen after Premier Wynne was sworn in February 11th, 2013. The allegations pertain entirely to activities in the former Premier’s Office”.
Premier Wynne appears to be dumping the entire scandal on the desk of former Premier Dalton McGuinty.
The Premier’s Press Secretary states, “Mr. Hudak made the comments during a press conference last Thursday at Queen’s Park. Mr. Hudak stated that Premier Wynne “oversaw and possibly ordered the criminal destruction of documents.”
“Later on Thursday, the Ontario PC Party circulated an email that stated “she oversaw and possibly ordered the criminal deletion of the information.” A similar false statement was posted, and remains posted, on the PC Party website”.
“The Premier has sought and obtained legal advice, and if the comments are not immediately corrected, all necessary and appropriate steps will be taken to ensure the false statements are corrected,” according to the Premier’s Office.
From the day she was sworn in, Premier Wynne has opened up the government to an unprecedented degree in order to get all the facts out about the gas plant relocations. We have provided the Justice Committee with more than 326,000 documents and emails related to the gas plants, including 30,000 directly from the Premier’s Office.
Our government has implemented mandatory recordkeeping rules and staff training, and new rules limiting political staff involvement in commercial third-party transactions.
We have also introduced important legislation both through our Open Government Initiative and our proposed Accountability Act. If passed, the Accountability Act will prohibit the willful deletion of records, and will create a penalty.
TEXT OF LETTER FROM PREMIER WYNNE TO TIM HUDAK
March 30, 2014
Mr. Tim Hudak
Leader of the Official Opposition
Room 381, Legislative Building
Re: Open letter from Premier Kathleen Wynne to Tim Hudak
Dear Mr. Hudak
During your press conference on March 27th you made several false, misleading and defamatory allegations about me. You alleged that I personally “oversaw and possibly ordered the criminal destruction of documents” and that criminal conduct took place in my office. The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party repeated these false allegations on its website and in a public mailing.
These allegations and accusations are false and utterly unsupported, and you ought to know it.
As political leaders it is our role and public duty to engage in spirited political debate on issues. The decision to relocate the gas plants and the facts related to the ongoing police investigation are legitimate subjects for this political debate. False, misleading and defamatory statements are not, and they represent the worst kind of politics. That is why I am writing this open letter to you.
There should be no tolerance for false and defamatory accusations as a means to gain political power.
I am asking you and your caucus to immediately stop repeating these untrue statements and to immediately remove them from the PC Party website and all other communications.
I have sought and obtained legal advice regarding your comments, and if steps are not taken immediately, I will have no choice but to take all necessary and appropriate steps to ensure your false statements are corrected.
Premier of Ontario