British Columbia

B.C. Liberal party exec Laura Miller resigns, facing criminal charges in Ontario

B.C. Liberal party executive director Laura Miller has been charged with three criminal counts in Ontario in relation to the an investigation into the destruction of documents pertaining to cancelled gas plants in Ontario.

Miller charged with breach of trust, mischief, and misuse of a computer system to commit mischief

Laura Miller, who resigned as executive director of the B.C. Liberal Party, is one of several several senior aides to former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty who joined the B.C. Liberals after McGuinty stepped down in early 2013.

B.C. Liberal party executive director Laura Miller has resigned, after being charged with three criminal counts in Ontario in relation to an investigation into the destruction of documents pertaining to cancelled gas plants in Ontario. 

Miller has been charged with breach of trust, mischief, and misuse of a computer system to commit mischief.

Miller was a deputy chief of staff under Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty until 2013.

Miller took to twitter to defend herself saying, "I've stepped down from @BCLiberals as I prepare to vigorously defend myself back in Ontario."

Miller, 36, and former McGuinty chief of staff David Livingston are accused of deleting thousands of government emails pertaining to the decision to cancel two Greater Toronto Area gas-fired power plants in the lead-up to the 2011 Ontario provincial election. The controversial decision cost Ontario taxpayers $1.1 billion, according to the auditor general.

The OPP said in a release that the charges come after a "complex" investigation into the scandal led by its anti-rackets branch. 

None of the allegations has been proven in court. 

Ontario Provincial Police allege that Miller's boyfriend, Peter Faist, had access to computers in McGuinty's office and possibly deleted files just before the premier relinquished power in 2013.

At the time, Faist was under contract to provide IT services for the Ontario government caucus and the Ontario Liberal Party. 

The accused are scheduled to make a first appearance at the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto on Jan. 27, 2016.

The B.C. Liberal government is currently embroiled in a "triple-delete" scandal regarding the keeping of government records. Yesterday, a report prompted by a damning investigation in the culture of "triple deleting" emails in B.C. government offices called for tougher penalties for staff and politicians who try to evade freedom of information requests. 

B.C. Premier Christy Clark issued a statement regarding Miller's resignation which read in part: "In British Columbia, Laura Miller is known to her colleagues as a person of integrity and someone who has worked hard to move our party and the province forward."

But opposition NDP leader John Horgan said the Clark herself should be under scrutiny.  

"This speaks to the character and the judgment of the premier," he said. "[Clark] currently has two special prosecutors investigating her government ... and when you see the head of the very political party that's been running B.C for 16 years moving back to Ontario to face criminal charges, it speaks to the judgment of the premier who hired Ms. Miller when she was under investigation by the RCMP."


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