Time for Committee to start getting real answers on Gas Plants: Peter Tabuns
QUEEN’S PARK – New Democrat Energy Critic Peter Tabuns says he wants to move quickly to strike a committee that can start answering questions about the real costs and motivations behind the gas plant relocations.
“For two years, the government insisted these private power deals were about the energy needs of Ontario families, now we clearly see they were about the election needs of the Liberal party,” said Tabuns. “We have a lot of documents but we still don’t have real answers. We want to see this in committee so we can find out who really made these decisions, why they made them, and what’s missing from the picture.”
Once in committee, Members will be able to call and question witnesses about missing documents, and start getting answers about who made this decision, how it was made, and whether documents have been excluded. Tabuns highlighted the following examples:
- A note compiled by Ministry of Energy bureaucrats, states that staff in the Premier’s Office indicated the decision to cancel the Oakville Plant would be made by “5 people, no public servants.” Where is the record of this decision, and who are the 5 people? (ENERGY-Oakville p 826)
- The same document makes a record of communications between Jamison Steeve (Premier’s Office staff), Colin Anderson (CEO OPA) and Ben Chin (OPA staff and former Liberal Staffer), as well as between Chin and Chris Breen (Transcanada Lobbyist). Where are these documents?
- In an email dated April 15, 2011, Ministry staff indicates that they have requested a list of “political staff” involved in negotiating with TCE and OPA, but no list ever appears, and no correspondence requesting this information appears in the record. Where are these documents? (ENERGY-Oakville pdf, p 565)
- An email of November 14, 2011 includes “input from the PO” but the actual correspondence from the Premier’s office indicating who made the comments, or the contents of the email to which the document was attached has been removed. Where are these documents? (Greenfield South 2 pdf, p 1)
“The government was told in no uncertain terms that documents had to be turned over or the Minister of Energy would be in a breach of privilege. The emails and memos show the Premier and his inner circle making this decision, and yet there is almost no correspondence from his office,” continued Tabuns. “We need to refer this issue to committee so we can find out where the missing documents are, and find out why the Liberal government is continuing to hide information from the public.”
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