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VIDEO: Wilson Questions Premier Again Over Sudbury Scandal

(March 9th, 2015) Today, Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson continued to question the Liberals over bribery allegations in the Sudbury by-election. You can view the text of his comments from Ontario Hansard below,


Ontario Hansard - March 9th, 2015

By-election in Sudbury

Mr. Jim Wilson: My question is for the Premier. Premier, in December 2003, you rose in this House to deliver your maiden speech, and you said at that time, "They have every right to expect me to demonstrate that position and status cannot be allowed to undermine fundamental decency, honesty and integrity."

Now, with four OPP investigations in your office, you seem to have cast aside those words. Premier, why have you allowed the position and status of the Premier's office to undermine your fundamental decency, honesty and integrity in the Sudbury by-election?

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: Mr. Speaker, I challenge the premise of the question from the interim Leader of the Opposition. I have done my utmost at every turn, on whatever issue, to be open with the people of Ontario, to be very clear about what our position is and to be clear about how we are going to move forward. That's why I made a statement. I know that the member opposite is talking specifically about the Sudbury by-election. I made a statement a couple of weeks ago. I laid out exactly what our position was.

Beyond that, I have been very clear and open that there is an investigation going on, that I will work with the authorities, but that that investigation is appropriately taking place outside of this House.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?

Mr. Jim Wilson: Back to the Premier, Mr. Speaker. Premier, Let me read you a quote: "The government strategy is obviously to isolate, obfuscate, deny, deny, deny, and hope that everybody just gets tired of it."

That statement was from Liberal MP Ralph Goodale, and it was referring to a condemnation of the actions of one of the Prime Minister's senior staff, who, by the way, did the right thing and stepped down.

The Deputy Premier has even called our questioning of the apparent bribery boring. Well, apparent contraventions of bribery laws are anything but boring to Ontarians. The latest Forum poll shows that two thirds of Ontarians—an astonishing two-thirds of Ontarians—know about the issue and an astonishing two thirds of Ontarians want Pat Sorbara to step down.

Premier, are you hoping everyone just gets tired of the four OPP investigations into your office and that they'll just go away?

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: Let me just quote from the PC House leader, who said on February 27 of this year, "Stop interfering in an ongoing investigation, and let it run its course."

I have been very clear that we will work with the authorities, that there is an investigation going on, and that that investigation is taking place outside of this House. We'll work with the authorities ...

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(Hon. Kathleen Wynne)

... that we will work with the authorities, that there is an investigation going on and that that investigation is taking place outside of this House. We'll work with the authorities, Mr. Speaker, and that's as it should be.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Final supplementary?

Mr. Jim Wilson: Again to the Premier: Premier, when asked about former Premier McGuinty, you said, "We're different people, we have different styles and it's a different time." The OPP started two investigations into Mr. McGuinty's office. Now under your lead, there are two more. Mr. McGuinty has a chief of staff under OPP investigation; you have a deputy chief of staff under investigation. He had Peter Faist clean up a mess; you had Gerry Lougheed try to do the same. Mr. McGuinty ignored the truths about Ornge, eHealth and the gas plant scandals; you're ignoring the truth about Sudbury.

Premier, you are no different than Mr. McGuinty. When will you show Ontarians and the Office of the Premier the respect they deserve and the integrity you promised?

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: Well, Mr. Speaker, whatever the rhetoric that the interim Leader of the Opposition wants to pull out, whatever framework he wants to put around this, I need to be true to what I know is the responsible course of action. I have made a statement publicly. I have been very clear about our position. I have been clear in this House over and over again that I made a decision about who I believe the candidate should be for us in the Sudbury by-election.

There is an investigation that is ongoing. That investigation is not taking place in this House; it's taking place outside of this House.

I understand that the opposition wants to try to ramp this up and wants to try to keep it alive. I understand that. That is in their political interest. It is in the province's interest that we continue to do the work that's in the best interest of the people of the province while, at the same time, co-operating with the authorities.


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