Documents about the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission will no longer be made public, according to Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli.
Fedeli said he learned this not long after the Standing Committee on Estimates voted in favour of a motion ordering the release of Ministry of Finance documents relating to Ontario Northland in the months leading up to the 2011 election.
Last week’s motion was passed to have correspondence about the sale of the ONTC released within 30 days.
"What exactly are they hiding? What don't they want Northerners to know?" Fedeli stated in a press release.
Fedeli had tried to access the documents through a freedom of information request but the Ministry only turned over 11 mostly redacted pages.
The motion approved at Committee last week, without support of the Liberals, would have seen the remainder of those documents released.
"I won't stand for this cover-up, nor will the residents of Nipissing and Northeastern Ontario,” Fedeli’s statement continued. “We have a right to know what the Liberals were really planning for Ontario Northland before the last election.”
The issues manager and press secretary to government house leader John Milloy he issued a statement late Tuesday saying Fedeli's accusations about the ONTC documents are completely false.
"This morning the Chair of the Standing Committee on Estimates, NDP MPP Michael Prue, independently ruled the motion requesting ONTC documents 'null and void,'” Andrew Forgione stated.
"The Chair clearly stated in his ruling that the motion is outside the committee’s scope. Contrary to Mr. Fedeli’s false allegations, the Ministry of Finance does not have any authority over the independent rulings of NDP MPP Prue, the Committee Chair."
Forgione went on to say that committee chairs make their decisions based on the independent, objective advice of the Legislative Clerks.
"The Standing Committee on Estimates can review the estimates of any ministry they choose and request documents relevant to that ministry."