Liberals Bring Disrepute on Ontario Democracy

February 19, 2015

QUEEN’S PARK – Elections Ontario CEO Greg Essensa’s report concluded that the Premier’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Patricia Sorbara, and provincial appointee to the Greater Sudbury Police Services Board, Gerry Lougheed Jr, apparently violated the Elections Act by offering a job or appointment to Andrew Olivier if he would withdraw from becoming a candidate for the recent Sudbury by-election.


“The Sudbury by-election was marred with allegations of patronage” – said MPP Jim McDonell. “Bribing a candidate to not seek office in exchange for a public appointment is contrary to principles of democracy and is not good government. Kathleen Wynne refuses to show integrity and take a stand for accountability by firing Pat Sorbara and Gerry Lougheed Jr, or as a minimum, having them step aside until a full investigation is conducted as recommended by the Chief Electoral Officer.  Allowing them to remain on the public payroll and to continue making important decisions that affect the daily lives of millions of Ontarians is not right.”


The matter was referred to the Attorney-General as the Chief Electoral Officer cannot prosecute.


“Premier Wynne’s office is mired in scandals and investigations” MPP McDonell continued. “They couldn’t focus on Ontarians’ true priorities before, as they were busy maximizing their political gains, and now they certainly won’t be able to dedicate their energy to fixing Ontario’s economy. The Liberals promised a different kind of politics, but instead they are proving Ontarians’ worst fears to be true. By refusing to take principled action and firing everyone involved in this scandal, Premier Wynne is betraying the trust that many Ontarians placed in her, and tarnishing the democratic institutions of this Province.”


The OPP intends to question Kathleen Wynne and Pat Sorbara over the allegations.


“This government is currently subject to an OPP investigation in ORNGE Air Ambulance Scandal, an OPP investigation into the destruction of government records in the gas plant cancellation scandal, and now, another OPP investigation into the Sudbury by-election irregularities” – MPP McDonell concluded. “This government continues to promise one thing, do the opposite and blame someone else.  At this rate, we will have to offer the OPP preferred parking at the Premier’s office door.  Do the right thing Premier, have your assistants step aside until a full, independent investigation is conducted.”