Ontario Premier takes second step to law suit
QUEENS PARK – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne filed a libel notice against Progressive Conservative and Ontario Opposition Leader Tim Hudak. The Progressive Conservatives have accused the Premier of being behind an alleged plot to wipe computer hard drives in the office of the premier in order to hide documents related to the cancellation of gas plants.
Police have been investigating the situation. The Premier issued an open letter on this matter early last week. A libel notice is the next step toward launching a libel suit, but does not mean that any suit will go forward.
The libel notices have also been served to the Ontario Progressive Conservative party and Progressive Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod, who is the party’s Energy Critic.
On Tuesday in an open letter, the premier wrote that her legal had sent Tim Hudak a cease and desist order.
A press spokesperson for Premier Wynne told NetNewsLedger “I think it’s important to remember that 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.
“We will continue to cooperate in any way necessary to provide all information required”.
On March 27th, in a media release from the Ontario Progressive Conservatives: “Shocking new information highlights Kathleen Wynne’s involvement in the ongoing Liberal gas plant cover-up”, said Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak.
“Joined by Ontario PC Energy Critic Lisa MacLeod, Hudak spoke to media after reports that hard drives were wiped clean of potentially incriminating information related to the two cancelled gas plants after Kathleen Wynne had taken over as Premier.”
“Now we know that since this happened during her time in the Premier’s office, she oversaw and possibly ordered the destruction of documents during the cover-up,“ stated Hudak. The OPP’s Anti-Rackets squad alleges that a former McGuinty staffer gave an outside tech expert access to two dozen computers in the premier’s office”.
Hudak said there is no question that the cover-up has continued with Wynne as Premier. “This is now clearly more Kathleen Wynne’s scandal than Dalton McGuinty’s.”
The Progressive Conservatives state that it’s clear the plan to wipe hard drives in the premier’s office happened while Wynne was premier-designate of Ontario.
Premier Wynne has acknowledged an outside computer expert who was brought in and given access to government computers, and that individual had separate contracts with the Liberal party and Liberal caucus.
Ontario Provincial Police have alleged in court documents that the computer access was given by David Livingston, McGuinty’s former chief of staff. But Wynne stated that members of McGuinty’s staff did not have access to the premier’s office after she took over.