TORONTO — Senior Liberal cabinet ministers say they never intended to mislead the legislature by claiming all documents on cancelled power stations in Oakville and Mississauga had been released last month.Energy Minister Chris Bentley and Government House Leader John Milloy both rose before question period to correct the legislative record, after they insisted for weeks that all gas plant documents were released Sept. 24.As the opposition parties jeered, Bentley insisted there was no deliberate attempt to provide incorrect information to the legislature.Another 20,000 pages on the cancelled energy projects were released Friday, prompting PC Leader Tim Hudak to say Premier Dalton McGuinty “lied” to the legislature.Both the Conservative and NDP house leaders then asked why McGuinty wasn’t making a statement to correct his own record in the legislature.Hudak told a news conference that McGuinty “lied” to cover up the true cost of cancelling the power plants, which the government says is $230 million but the opposition parties put at a minimum of $650 million.Bentley’s claim that he honestly thought all documents had been released “doesn’t pass the sniff test,” said Hudak, who accused the Liberals of an orchestrated cover up.McGuinty was not immediately available for comment.NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says it’s clear “the government was not being honest” when it claimed to have released all the gas plant documents in September.Hudak complained in a letter Sunday that the second batch of documents “is virtually missing any correspondence or briefing materials at the political level,” the same complaint the opposition parties made about the first 36,000.“We have no reason to believe that this latest package of documents is complete,” wrote Hudak.Friday’s package is “almost devoid of emails, correspondence or briefing documents between the offices of the energy minister, premier or cabinet office,” added the Opposition leader.The fight by the Tories and NDP to get the documents from the Liberals triggered a contempt motion against Bentley that derailed all other legislative business for a week.Despite an impassioned, last-minute plea from McGuinty the opposition parties out-voted the minority government to send the contempt motion, and the issue of the gas plant documents, to the Finance Committee, which is to begin hearings this week.McGuinty “needs to take responsibility” for the scandal, and can start by agreeing to testify before the committee “to explain his role in this mess,” said Horwath.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCaribbean braces for passage of Hurricane IrmaSeptember 5, 2017In “latest news”Caricom leaders in Bahamas for closed-door meetingsSeptember 6, 2019In “latest news”Matthew reaches hurricane force, one dead in St VincentSeptember 30, 2016In “latest news” Prime Minister Mia Mottley(AP) — Much of the eastern Caribbean island of Barbados shut down on Monday as Tropical Storm Dorian approached the region and gathered strength, threatening to turn into a small hurricane that forecasters said could affect Puerto Rico and its neighbours later in the week.Prime Minister Mia Mottley closed schools and government offices across Barbados as she warned people to remain indoors.“When you’re dead, you’re dead,” she said in a televised address late Sunday. “Stay inside and get some rest.”The US National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm warning for Barbados, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. It also issued a tropical storm watch for Dominica, Martinique, Grenada, Saba and St Eustatius. The storm was expected to dump between 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimetres) of rain in Barbados and nearby islands, with isolated amounts of 6 inches (15 centimetres).As of 8:00 am EDT Monday, the fourth tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season was centred about 205 miles (330 kilometres) east-southeast of Barbados and moving west at 14 mph (23 kph). Maximum sustained winds were at 60 mph (85 kph). Forecasters said it could brush past southwest Puerto Rico late Wednesday as a Category 1 hurricane and then strike the southeast corner of the Dominican Republic early Thursday.In Barbados, many of the 285,000 inhabitants heeded the government’s warning, including Fitz Bostic, owner of Rest Haven Beach Cottages. He said he’s prepared in case officials shut down power and utility services as they have in previous storms.“We have to be very cautious,” he said in a telephone interview. “The word ‘storm’ frightens me man. I’m very nervous.”In the US territory of Puerto Rico, hundreds of people have been crowding into grocery stores and gas stations to prepare for Dorian, buying food, water and generators, among other things. Many are worried about power outages and heavy rains on an island still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm that hit nearly two years ago. Some 30,000 homes still have blue tarps as roofs and the electrical grid remains fragile and prone to outages even during brief rain showers.