The Duffy trial is over and many are upset that he was cleared on all charges but at least there was a trial, evidence was heard and a verdict delivered. Will we even get that far in the case of Liberals offering a job to a candidate if he would step aside?
Today crown prosecutors in Sudbury asked for a stay of proceedings against Gerry Lougheed, the Sudbury businessman and Liberal organizer recorded telling would-be Liberal candidate Andrew Olivier that he was sent to convey the desires of the Premier that Olivier should step aside and if he did, there would be a job or appointment for him.
The recorded conversation was made public. Police heard it, prosecutors heard it. You only need to hear 27 seconds of it to know that something worthy of a trial took place. How have charges been stayed?
The whole sordid affair began in December 2014 when Olivier made the accusation. Calls for the police and Elections Ontario to investigate followed. The Ontario Provincial Police asked around a bit, knowing the conversations Olivier alleged took place had been recorded. Olivier is a quadriplegic who records conversations as a way of taking notes.
Yet the OPP never asked to hear the recordings, promptly saying there was nothing there. After Olivier released the recordings where Lougheed and Pat Sorbarra, Wynne’s Deputy Chief of Staff were heard offering a job, well then they had to act.
Listen to part of the Sorbarra recording and ask why the woman was never charged? The OPP listened to the recordings and dragged their feet. The main evidence was released to the public on January 15, 2015 and only Lougheed was finally charged on September 24.
It took nine months for police and the crown to listen to a bit of audio and come to the obvious conclusion - charges should be laid. But now, without explanation, the crown is staying the charges.
At least in Mike Duffy’s case there was a trial. Maybe Lougheed's case would fall apart at trial too, but we never got there. In addition to a political police force that worked to get Premier Wynne and her Liberals elected, it looks like we have political prosecutors.
Lougheed, Pat Sorbarra and Kathleen Wynne should be on trial. No wonder people are jaded and cynical of politics thinking all politicians are crooks. I’ve been around politics a long time and I know that’s not true. Good people exist in all parties but this stains the whole system, making everyone look bad.
Shame on the OPP for taking so long to lay charges, shame on the crown for not proceeding to trial. The only thing we have left is to keep up the pressure to fire Wynne.
We’ve been running FireWynne.ca for a while. Sign the petition, support the billboard.