Premiers Should Not Have to be Reminded About Honesty

March 4, 2015

QUEEN’S PARK – In today’s Question Period, the Premier and other Ministers avoided answering MPP McDonell’s question on the Sudbury by-election bribery scandal.  MPP Jim McDonell highlighted inconsistencies in the Premier’s account of events leading up to the Sudbury by-election and the bribery allegations surrounding the Liberal nomination.

 

“Premier Wynne decided to appoint a candidate in late November, however she did not inform the local riding association of her decision until January 7th, against her own Party’s rules” – MPP Jim McDonell commented. “In December, Liberal operatives reached out to the former Liberal candidate and allegedly tempted him not to seek the nomination in exchange for a public appointment, which the Premier would have to sign off on. It is only thanks to Andrew Olivier’s integrity, his spirit of public service and his recordings of meetings with the Premier’s deputy chief of staff and local Liberal kingmaker that we know of this attempted perversion of our democratic process. Premier Wynne broke her Party’s own constitution by not informing the riding association of her intention to appoint a candidate and her deputy Chief of Staff allegedly breached the Election Act in order to stage a pretend nomination race.”

 

“Premier Wynne dodges questions in the Legislature, but she can’t avoid questioning by the OPP as part of the four ongoing investigations against her office” MPP McDonell continued. “As I said during Question Period, it shouldn’t take police interviews and leaked tapes to obtain the truth from the Premier.  Ontarians hold elected officials to a much higher standard of integrity than Kathleen Wynne and her Liberal MPP’s are willing to work to.”

 

Ontario’s Chief Electoral Officer made an “unprecedented” determination on February 19th that the actions of Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Deputy Chief of Staff Patricia Sorbara and Sudbury Police Services Board Chief Gerry Lougheed Jr, who are caught on tape allegedly offering former candidate Andrew Olivier a public appointment in exchange for giving up his run at the Liberal nomination, is a contravention, if confirmed, of bribery provisions in the Elections Act. The file has been referred to the OPP.