Gas plant scandal: OPP serve court order at Queen's Park to get documents
Police confirm order to obtain made after interview with former premier Dalton McGuinty in April
The Ontario Provincial Police served a court order to staff at Queen's Park Thursday asking for documents relating to the gas plant scandal and confirmed the request for the order was filed after interview with former premier Dalton McGuinty.
"I can confirm that the OPP has obtained a production order from the Ontario court of justice in relation to our ongoing investigation," Pierre Chamberland of the OPP told CBC News Thursday.
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The order to obtain, which now that it has been served gives staff 10 days to deliver documents police "know exist," was made after an interview with McGuinty in April.
The Ottawa Citizen reported the OPP anti-rackets squad served a court order requiring Legislature staff hand over records relevant to the deletion of emails and wiping of computer hard drives in the premier's office related to the cancellation of the gas plants prior to the 2011 election.
The Liberals immediately issued a statement saying the investigation is focused on David Livingston, chief of staff to former premier Dalton McGuinty, not Ontario Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne or her office.
"The OPP is conducting its investigation into allegations against the former premier's chief of staff and is doing so in a completely independent manner," said Liberal campaign spokesperson Rebecca MacKenzie. "No ministers, MPPs or political staff are captured by this (court) order."
However, the opposition parties didn't wait long to issue comments following news of the court order into the alleged cover-up of the Liberal government's decision to cancel the two gas plants, which could cost taxpayers $1.1 billion.
Reaction, and fundraising letter
"These revelations about the OPP Anti-Rackets Squad investigation into the Liberal gas plants scandal show why Kathleen Wynne can't run from the Liberal record of corruption anymore," said NDP campaign co-chair Gilles Bisson.
"Armed police knocking on the doors of Queen's Park is a clear sign the Liberals have to go. It is time for change; it is time to clean up Queen's Park."
The Progressive Conservatives say they would call a judicial inquiry into the scandal surrounding gas plants if they win the June 12 election, according to energy critic Lisa MacLeod.
"It is clear that the Liberals will go to any lengths to hide the truth from the taxpayers of Ontario," MacLeod said in a statement Thursday.
A few hours after the initial report, the Tories were using it as the basis for a fundraising letter.
"This proves what Tim Hudak has been saying all along," the missive signed by the Ontario PC Party read. "We need a judicial inquiry to get to the bottom of this scandal, and a team that will take steps to ensure this never happens again… Donate $50 now to support Tim Hudak and his fight to ensure this type of scandal never happens again."
With the provincial election in full swing, the timing of the order is being brought into question, but Chamberland said for the OPP it's strictly related to the normal course of their ongoing investigation and not politics.
With files from The Canadian Press