beralsLi will reveal Oakville power p...

beralsLi will reveal Oakville power plant documents to public

Posted in the Georgetown Forum

Moya ran for Liberal

North Bay, Canada

#1 Sep 22, 2012
Secret documents on the cost of scrapping an Oakville power plant will be made public by Monday at 6 p.m. as demanded by opposition parties, Government house leader John Milloy said Friday.

He accused the Progressive Conservatives and NDP of risking extra costs to taxpayers because details in the commercially sensitive papers could harm negotiations to compensate the builder of the plant killed two years ago.

“They’ve demonstrated they don’t care,” he told the Star after a week of talks aimed at delaying the release until the minority Liberal government finishes the negotiations with TransCanada Pipelines, likely within weeks.

“The opposition is being incredibly irresponsible.”

The rival parties countered the public is entitled to know how tax money is being spent, saying the unpopular plant was zapped to save the seat of Oakville Liberal MPP Kevin Flynn before Premier Dalton McGuinty was reduced to a minority in last fall’s provincial election.

But the opposition was reluctant to declare a win.

“It shouldn’t be seen as a victory to have a government be transparent,” said Conservative house leader Jim Wilson.“It’s a pox on the Liberals.”

The release of the documents was ordered in a ruling this week by Speaker of the legislature Dave Levac, who found Energy Minister Chris Bentley broke parliamentary privilege by not producing the documents demanded by MPPs on a legislative committee last May.

“Our goal has been to get the facts to the public and we’re closer now,” said NDP house leader Gilles Bisson.“We’ll see what happens Monday.”

Bisson said he was told the documents fill 10 bankers’ boxes. Milloy would not confirm that, but said there are “a lot” of papers that are commercially sensitive and reveal the government’s negotiating positions.

Critics have warned it could cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars for the Oakville plant, in addition to $190 million for the Liberal government’s decision to scrap a similar plant in Mississauga in the centre of four Liberal ridings just before the Oct. 6 election.

“This has been a Liberal seat-saver program,” said Wilson, who added the Conservatives are still planning to introduce a motion finding Bentley, a lawyer, in contempt of the legislature for not producing the documents sooner.

“It’s unprecedented (that) we’ve had to go this far against a minister ... we can’t reward bad behaviour.”

Bisson wouldn’t say if the NDP would support the motion to censure Bentley.

“It could pass. Let’s see what happens

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