VIDEO: Wilson Continues to Question Wynne over Sudbury Scandal
(March 12, 2015) Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson continues 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 - 12-March 2015
BY-ELECTION IN SUDBURY
Mr. Jim Wilson: Speaker, my question is for the Acting Premier: Acting Premier, the Chief Electoral Officer's report into the Sudbury by-election states, "Summonses were issued requiring attendance at a designated time and place." So, Acting Premier, did the Premier receive a summons from the Chief Electoral Officer or his investigators, and is that how she came to be interviewed?
Hon. Deborah Matthews: The member opposite knows that the Premier has repeatedly answered questions in this House about this issue. We know that she takes it very seriously and that she is co-operating fully with the investigation.
I must say that I don't think I'm the only one in this province who finds it very, very strange that the opposition has asked nothing but questions on the Sudbury by-election for the past several weeks, to the exclusion of all others. But I do know that the opposition party cares deeply about the economy of Ontario and I know that they would want to know about some very important information about our economy that was released just this morning. This is from RBC Economics, and I look forward to the supplementary because I know they care about the economy. I know they want a healthy economic future.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?
Mr. Jim Wilson: Back to the Acting Premier: Acting Premier, you know that two thirds of Ontarians think is a very serious issue and two thirds of Ontarians want Pat Sorbara to step aside and doesn't believe she should continue with her paid duties in the Premier's office. Pretty well all Ontarians by now who pay attention to this place know that the Premier is not answering questions about the bribery scandal, she's not co-operating with the police, it's been nine weeks since the investigation was reopened in Sudbury by the OPP and she has yet to set a date, as far as we know, to meet with the OPP.
I'm going to ask you: Is the only reason she met with the Chief Electoral Officer's investigators in a timely manner is because they had the power to summons her and throw her in jail, frankly, if she didn't show up? Is that the only reason? Because you ...
—electoral officers, investigators in a timely manner because they had the power to summons her and throw her in jail, frankly, if she didn't show up. Is that the only reason? You know the OPP doesn't have that power. They have to wait for her to say yes to a meeting. Is the only reason she showed up is the threat of a summons?
Hon. Deborah Matthews: I find the innuendo underlying that question beneath the dignity of the interim leader of the opposition party. The member knows that the Premier takes this very seriously. He know that she's cooperating fully with the investigation, but it's important to think about a bigger issue, and that is the economy of this province.
RBC reported today that, "Ontario is expected to top provincial economic growth rankings in 2015, something that has not happened since the year 2000 according to the RBC Economics Provincial Outlook ..."
Listen to this. I know people want to hear this:
"RBC forecasts real GDP growth for the province to accelerate from an estimated 2.5%—
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Please wrap up.
Hon. Deborah Matthews: —to a five-year best rate of 3.3% in 2015 ..." That is great news for the people of this province, the people we all represent. This is great news. We should be applauding this news.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you. Final supplementary?
Mr. Jim Wilson: Back to the Acting Premier: It took six weeks for the Premier to meet with the chief electoral officers' investigators into the bribery allegations. It's now been over nine weeks since the OPP reopened their investigation into the allegations. We know now that the only reason the Premier met in a somewhat timely manner with the Chief Electoral Officers' investigators is because she was subpoenaed, and we all know that the OPP doesn't have those powers. They can request an interview and you have to voluntarily go for an interview.
Acting Premier, can you tell me what other citizen in the province of Ontario can just put the OPP off for over nine weeks, thumb their nose at the investigators and then come into this place and pretend that they're co-operating with the investigation? That doesn't hold water. The people of Ontario see right through it. Tell us, what's the real reason why the Premier is stalling her meeting with the OPP?
Hon. Deborah Matthews: I completely reject the innuendo and the suggestion in that question. The Premier is co-operating fully as she has said in this House several times. She's setting up that meeting with the OPP.
But let's talk about the economic growth in this province. "RBC notes that economic developments over the past several months have been overwhelmingly favourable for Ontario's economy.
"'The plunge in oil prices, the sliding value of the Canadian dollar, surprise interest rate cut by the Bank of Canada and mounting evidence the US economy is hitting its stride—these factors should all boost growth in Ontario'"—that's great news, not for the government but for all of the people of this province—"said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC. The positive effects from the drop in oil prices and related developments will coalesce at a time when the provincial economy is already displaying rising momentum."
They're not asking any other questions because there are no questions that are priorities for them.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you. New question.
Ontario Hansard - 11-March2015
BY-ELECTION IN SUDBURY
Mr. Jim Wilson: My question is for the Premier. Since we don't seem to be getting any answers from you in this House regarding the Sudbury bribery scandal, and you apparently are having scheduling problems trying to meet with the OPP, may we suggest that the best use of your time in the next hour would be to leave question period and go meet with the OPP? Will you do that, Premier?
Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I understand that the member opposite is now going to take a facetious tack. I actually take this very seriously.
The fact is that that meeting is-
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Please-stop the clock. A quick announcement: I'll be jumping quite quickly on all of the interjections.
Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: The fact is that that meeting is being set up. I've said all along that I will co-operate with the authorities; we are co-operating with authorities. That meeting is being arranged.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?
Mr. Jim Wilson: Back to the Premier: Premier, you met with the Chief Electoral Officer sometime between January 26 and February 3 in relation to the investigation he started in mid-December into the Sudbury by-election. On February 9, you told reporters that you would be meeting with the OPP in relation to the investigation they restarted on January 16, and you just reiterated that right now. Yet, here we are nine weeks later, and your so-called scheduling issues are holding up the meeting.
Premier, wouldn't you agree that delaying a meeting with the OPP for over two months is tantamount to interfering in the Sudbury investigation?
Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I'm not delaying anything. We are in the process of setting up that meeting. The member opposite can twist this any way he chooses, but the fact is the meeting is being set up. We're in the process of organizing that-
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The member from Renfrew, come to order.
Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: It's not just about my calendar; there are other factors. I will have that meeting when it's arranged.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Final supplementary.
Mr. Jim Wilson: Back to the Premier. Premier, when you were chosen as Liberal leader, you loved to talk about how different you were going to be from your predecessor Dalton McGuinty.
Premier, the OPP investigation into the gas plant scandal started in June 2013, yet Dalton McGuinty didn't meet with the OPP investigators until April of the following year. So I ask you, Premier, will it take 10 months for you to meet with the OPP just like it took 10 months for Dalton McGuinty to meet with the OPP?
Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I was chosen as the leader, and then we went to an election and we won a general election. Then we won a by-election in Sudbury. I have a feeling that that's actually what this is about.
It's actually about the fact that we are implementing an agenda that we took to the people of Ontario. It's a positive agenda. It's building the province up. It's investing in the infrastructure and in the talent and skills of people that we know are necessary for the 21st century. That's not the platform that the party opposite ran on, and I think it's sticking in their craw.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Be seated, please. Thank you.