Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Liberals Accuse PC Vic Fedeli of Contempt; Tories Say Government Running Scared

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Liberals Accuse PC Vic Fedeli of Contempt; Tories Say Government Running Scared

Article excerpt

Liberals accuse PC Vic Fedeli of contempt

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TORONTO - Ontario's Liberals launched contempt proceedings against Progressive Conservative Vic Fedeli Thursday for releasing documents that the government insisted contained sensitive business data that the Opposition had agreed to keep secret.

"Fedeli flagrantly breached his duty to keep the information confidential," government house leader John Milloy wrote in a letter to Speaker Dave Levac. "There can be no doubt that Mr. Fedeli was aware that the information he disclosed was contained in a commercially sensitive document that was confidential to the committee."

Fedeli rose in the legislature Tuesday to quote from documents that were given to the legislature's estimates committee, saying they showed Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals had been advised they were billions of dollars short on their deficit reduction targets, but then "lied" about the state of Ontario's finances to the public.

"This is all about Kathleen Wynne. This is all on her watch," Fedeli repeated Thursday. "It's her and her alone that's being deceitful."

The contempt charge is the Liberals' way of getting back at the Tories for accusing former energy minister Chris Bentley of contempt for not releasing documents on two cancelled gas plants that cost taxpayers $1.1 billion, added Fedeli.

"They lied to the taxpayers about the budget and now they are running scared," he said. "They've decided to come after me personally."

The Conservatives insisted Fedeli released only documents that the committee had determined could be made public, not those they agreed would remain confidential to protect businesses or third parties seeking contracts with the government. If the government put the cabinet documents Fedeli quoted in the wrong box given to the committee, that was the Liberals' fault, not his, said PC house leader Jim Wilson.

"You guys messed up by sending four different versions of one document," Wilson told the legislature. "You can't even do a coverup properly."

One of the documents Fedeli released showed the Liberals considered a broad-based public sector wage freeze until 2017-18 to eliminate the $11. …

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