By now you’ve likely heard about charges against two aides to former Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty coming out of the police investigation into the gas plant scandal.
Headlines used the description of “aides” but describing David Livingston and Laura Miller as aides makes it sound like they carried his bags or scheduled his meetings. These two were more than that, they were respectively Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff meaning that Livingston and Miller were the two most powerful people in the then premier’s office.
This all goes back to the Ontario Liberal Party’s decision to cancel natural gas electrical plants for fear of losing seats in Mississauga and Oakville. But the cancellations on the already under construction plants also cost a lot of money. The Liberals claimed it only cost $230 million but it was later revealed to cost nearly one billion dollars.
It was a political decision so why are Livingston and Miller being fired? Well because as opposition parties tried to find out more information, they were stonewalled by a lack of evidence.
Why a lack of evidence? Because not only were emails deleted but hard drives were wiped clean, back ups destroyed. According to police reports Livingston hired Miller’s common law partner Peter Faist, a computer tech, to wipe the hard drives clean. So now Livingston and Miller are facing charges for “breach of trust, mischief in relation to data and misuse of a computer system to commit the offence of mischief.”
But what were they covering up? Why were they so desperate to delete files? Were they trying to protect their boss Dalton McGuinty? What about the current premier Kathleen Wynne? What was she saying, seeing or receiving in those emails? Wynne was not only a cabinet minister when these decisions were made, she was co-chair of the Liberal election campaign in 2011 when the party, not the government but the party made these decisions in the heat of an election campaign.
Will Wynne even be questioned on this? She was at the table as these decisions were made but she is not being held to account, just as she and her close friend Pat Sorbara were protected while Gerry Lougheed was charged with bribery in the Sudbury by-election scandal. And what of McGuinty? Why is he not charged? Why is he in the clear? His lawyer Ron Caza has issued a statement saying that McGuinty did nothing wrong.
I simply don’t believe that. I don’t think we’ve seen all the evidence and the reason we haven’t is that McGuinty’s staff apparently deleted it. Convenient.
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