THUNDER BAY – The Ontario Provincial Police have laid criminal charges against a member of the Liberal Party campaign team in Sudbury.
New Democrat leader Andrea Horwath states, “This morning the OPP laid criminal charges against senior Liberal operative Gerry Lougheed Jr. in the Sudbury bribery scandal. I’m calling on the Premier to be honest with Ontarians about who gave Mr. Lougheed the order to make the job offer that resulted in these serious charges.
“It’s clear on the recordings of Mr. Lougheed that he says he was acting “on behalf of the Premier,” adds Horwath. “So who gave him the order? Who told him to make that job offer?”
The NDP leader continues, “The Premier has done everything she can to protect her Liberal friends, but she has a responsibility to the people of Ontario to be honest about what role she played in this scandal. It shouldn’t take a judge for her to do what’s right.”
“Both the Premier and the Minister of Community Safety stood by Mr. Lougheed despite the damning evidence that all Ontarians heard on that now infamous tape,” said Leader of the Official Opposition Patrick Brown. “Now, through their good work, the OPP have confirmed that what the Premier’s top Liberal fundraiser did in December last year warrants criminal charges.”
Brown added, “We know that in the recordings Lougheed said he was speaking on behalf of the Premier. Did Premier Kathleen Wynne order Gerry Lougheed to offer Andrew Olivier an incentive to step down? We thought Premier Wynne was going to be different but she’s not. She campaigned on accountability and transparency. It’s clear she’s not in it for the people of Ontario. In the face of criminal charges against Gerry Lougheed Jr. , Premier Wynne must step aside.”
Lougheed is being charged with one count of Counselling an Offence Not Committed and one count of Unlawfully Influencing or Negotiating Appointments. The investigation was launched after a former Liberal candidate said he was offered a job or appointment to step aside for Premier Wynne’s preferred candidate, MPP Glenn Thibeault.
Brown concluded, “I would like to thank the Ontario Provincial Police and their dedicated officers for their investigations into the Ontario Liberal Government. We are extremely disappointed that in the past three years there have been serious allegations levied against several high-ranking officials in the Government of Ontario. Ontarians continue to await updates on the 3 other pending OPP investigations into this government.”