POLITICS

Sudbury Byelection 2015: Liberals Did Not Commit Crime, OPP Says

01/12/2015 01:10 EST | Updated 03/14/2015 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - Ontario Provincial Police have determined the provincial Liberals did not commit a criminal offence in spurning a potential Sudbury, Ont., byelection candidate.

Andrew Olivier, the party's candidate in last June's general election, says he was asked by Premier Kathleen Wynne to step aside because she had another candidate in mind, which she later revealed to be NDP MP Glenn Thibeault.

Olivier says Liberal officials asked him not to seek the nomination and suggested a job or appointment could be arranged — accusations the Liberals have denied.

The Progressive Conservatives wrote to the OPP, asking them to investigate because they believed the alleged actions could contravene sections of the Criminal Code that relate to offering government advantages and securing appointments.

OPP spokesman Sgt. Peter Leon says the anti-rackets division reviewed the information and conducted interviews with the people involved and have concluded no criminal offence was committed.

The Sudbury byelection is set for Feb. 5 to replace New Democrat Joe Cimino, who surprised supporters by resigning for personal reasons after just five months on the job.

Thibeault will face off as the Liberal candidate against Olivier, who is running as an independent, Suzanne Shawbonquit, nominated over the weekend for the NDP, and Progressive Conservative candidate Paula Peroni.

The NDP has also asked Elections Ontario to investigate Olivier's allegations, pointing to the Election Act, which makes it an offence to promise a job or appointment to induce a person to withdraw their candidacy.

"I'm confident that Elections Ontario will look into it and when they do they will come down on the (Liberals) and say, 'You're not allowed to do that,'" New Democrat Gilles Bisson said in an interview.

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