Newspaper article The Canadian Press

OPP Investigate Ontario Liberal Government after Document Deletion Complaint

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

OPP Investigate Ontario Liberal Government after Document Deletion Complaint

Article excerpt

OPP investigate Ontario Liberal government

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TORONTO - Ontario's Liberal government is facing another criminal investigation after a wind power company complained to police about the alleged destruction of documents in a lawsuit it filed against the province.

Trillium Power Wind Corp. has alleged in a lawsuit that government officials destroyed documents after the company sued in a case that stemmed from the government's cancellation of a Lake Ontario wind project.

OPP Det.-Supt. Dave Truax said police began an investigation in the last couple of weeks after Trillium made a complaint.

Truax would not say that the allegations are about destruction of documents, but that the probe is looking into elected officials and/or civil servants, and that there is a "co-mingling" of issues with Trillium's civil suit.

Trillium lawyer Morris Cooper alleges the documents were destroyed around the same time as emails are alleged to have been deleted in relation to the Liberals' cancellation of two gas plants.

In that case, former premier Dalton McGuinty's chief of staff and deputy chief of staff have been charged with breach of trust and mischief.

Premier Kathleen Wynne said the government was not aware of any Trillium-related investigation until Wednesday, but that it will co-operate fully.

A spokesman for Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said the government takes its record-keeping obligations very seriously.

"We're committed to being open, accountable, and transparent," Dan Moulton wrote. "Under Premier Wynne, we have new rules in place, including mandatory record-keeping rules and staff training and a new Accountability Act, which prohibits the wilful deletion of records, and creates a penalty."

Trillium's lawsuit arose in 2011 after the province cancelled the company's wind project in Lake Ontario, about 28 kilometres from Kingston, Ont. At the same time, the government issued a moratorium on offshore wind farms, saying more scientific studies were needed.

The company alleges the government cannot back its claim that the decision to cancel the project was a "core policy" decision.

In the legislature Wednesday, Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown accused the Liberals of issuing the moratorium and cancelling the project for political reasons. …

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