Former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty told police investigators looking into the province’s gas plant scandal that his administration did not keep written records of all its meetings and decisions, including his talks with his chief of staff, David Livingston.
“We rarely exchanged, if ever, written arguments against each other,” McGuinty told investigators with the Ontario Provincial Police on April 15, according to court documents released Friday.
“Our practice was to hash these things out in person. So I would call my chief of staff and or others into my office and say ‘We need to talk about this issue,’” McGuinty told investigators.
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Livingston is under investigation by the OPP anti-rackets squad for breach of trust in connection with the province’s gas plant scandal. Investigators allege he provided a non-government computer technician, Peter Faist, with access to computers in the premier’s office.
Police have previously alleged Livingston sought to "wipe clean" the hard drives on those computers, deleting key emails related to the gas plants.
The allegations have not been proven in court. Livingston has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged.
'Our practice was to hash these things out in person.' — Former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty
The abrupt cancellation of plans for two new gas-fired power plants in the Toronto area during the McGuinty administration cost Ontario taxpayers an estimated $1 billion — a scandal that dogged his successor, Kathleen Wynne, through her recent re-election campaign.
Wynne, who was returned to office with a majority government on Thursday, is mentioned briefly in the court documents in reference to the transfer of power following McGuinty’s resignation.
Wynne's office said Friday the documents "demonstrate our full co-operation" with investigators and do not implicate any of her government's staff.
"We’re committed to full disclosure and independent investigation of the decision to relocate the gas plants," said the statement.
Ontario NDP House Leader Gilles Bisson repeated calls for a public inquiry into the scandal.
"The latest revelations on the criminal investigation into the Liberal gas plant scandal underline the need for a public inquiry," Bisson said in a statement.
McGuinty points to Livingston
McGuinty appeared to lay the blame for any missing documents with Livingston, telling investigators that the chief of staff is ultimately responsible for all activities within the premier’s office, including records management.
The OPP served a court order to staff at Queen's Park last week asking for documents relating to the gas plant scandal. Investigators said at the time the request for the order was filed following an interview with McGuinty.
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The document released Friday, known as an Information to Obtain, reveals investigators are seeking all records of Faist’s visits to the Ontario Legislature between June 1, 2010, and March 30, 2014 — when his company NetCon1 provided computer services to the Ontario Liberal Party and the Ontario Liberal Caucus.
Faist is the partner of Laura Miller, a one-time senior staffer for McGuinty.