Leaked emails related to a pair of cancelled gas plants in the Greater Toronto Area are causing more problems for the Ontario Liberals.
The latest leaks reveal that senior Liberal staff working under former premier Dalton McGuinty attempted to put political pressure on the speaker of the legislature in a bid to bury some of the gas-plant controversy. The opposition Tories were the ones to make the emails public.
The speaker of the house, Dave Levac, is a Liberal MPP for the riding of Brant. But in the role of speaker, partisanship is set aside to preside over the assembly.
The emails date back to last fall when the Progressive Conservatives moved to have then-energy minister Chris Bentley found in contempt for refusing to hand over documents related to the gas plants.
The speaker ruled in the Conservatives' favour.
The emails show that one week later McGuinty's former chief of staff wrote this to some of the premier's other aides, "Speaker needs to follow up on his...finding and change his mind."
Another aide writes that they're "putting the member from Brant on notice that we need better."
Any potential pressure applied by the Liberal staffers didn't seem to work. The speaker's ruling stood, and tens of thousands of cancelled gas plant documents have been made public.
In addition to the exchange about Levac, the emails used pejorative language to describe legislative reporters.
All of this comes the same week as five byelections in Liberal ridings, which are happening on Thursday.