NEWS

Liberal byelection scandal a clear example of corruption, analyst says

02/09/2015 11:00 EST | Updated 04/11/2015 05:59 EDT
The ballots are counted and the lawn signs have been packed away, but there's still much speculation about the dealings of the Ontario Liberals in the Sudbury byelection.

Andrew Olivier is still surrounded by political controversy, as police investigate his claims that two Ontario Liberals offered him a job or appointment in exchange for not seeking the party's nomination.

The Ontario Liberal Party denies the allegations.

Olivier says that's why he made public recordings of the conversations— to prove he was telling the truth.

OPP have now seized those recordings.

"I just hope that they're [the OPP] able to do the work that they need to do and follow through with their due diligence,” Olivier said.

Liberal spokesperson Zita Astravas told CBC News in an email that the party’s “views on this matter are well known. Any suggestion that anything was offered in exchange for any action is false."

“It is common for an investigator to make an allegation in an ITO in order to obtain a warrant.  It is in no way confirmation that an offence has occurred,” Astravas said. 

Another byelection?

But one political scientist in northeastern Ontario is convinced the Liberals have breached the Elections Act.

Nipissing University's David Tabachnick said the controversy is worse than the gas plants scandal.

"This is a small story when it comes to the province as a whole but, in actual fact, it's probably one of the clearest examples of this kind of corruption."

The OPP have yet to reach a conclusion in their investigation.

If charges proceed, Tabachnick said another byelection should be called.

Meanwhile, Olivier said he isn't ruling out the possibility of rejoining the Ontario Liberal Party—and despite the police investigation into his allegations of corruption, Olivier said he's not turning down any opportunities.

“I still have my centrist values. I'm still lined up with the Liberal values,” he said.

“And I know that there are a lot of great people here in Sudbury who are volunteering and working on the federal level — and even on the provincial level.”

Olivier ran as an independent candidate in the recent byelection and came in third.

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