NEWS

Opposition call Liberal gas plant report a 'cover-up'

02/18/2015 09:02 EST | Updated 04/20/2015 05:59 EDT
Opposition parties are rejecting the findings of a legislative committee report into the deletion of government emails on two cancelled gas plants.

"This was the cover-up of a cover-up," bluntly stated NDP MPP Jagmeet Singh, further calling it a "whitewash of a whitewash."

"The deletion of emails was covering up the truth, and now the report that's been tabled further covers up that truth," he said.

The main issue with both parties is the committee did not hear from Peter Faist, an information technology contractor allegedly paid by the Liberal Party to delete emails related to the cancellations. Opposition parties allege he was kept away from the committee by Liberals.

"Who told you to do that? Why did you do it?"

Those are the questions Singh told CBC's Metro Morning he would ask Faist had he the chance to question him.

Senior Dalton McGuinty aide Laura Miller – Faist's girlfriend at the time — was also not questioned.

"[Those two people] would've held the key to this entire scandal," Singh said.

The Liberals used their majority in government to shut down the committee hearings in December, before Faist and Miller could be called to answer questions.

"How do you consider a report to be complete when the person who was paid $10,000 to wipe computers clean is not even part of the government's report?" asked PC energy critic John Yakabuski.

Liberal response

Yasir Naqvi, MPP for Ottawa Centre, responded that the legislative committee did its work.

"That's a decision of the committee," he said of Faist's absence.

"They have done their work. They have looked at this issue very seriously."

He said the committee interviewed 90 witnesses and reviewed nearly half a million documents, including 30,000 from the Premier's office.

Senior Liberals say the hearings lasted longer than the Warren commission probe of JFK's assassination or Great Britain's probe into the sinking of the Titanic.

The committee's report made 16 recommendations including strengthened rules on document retention and more community involvement in the siting of large-scale energy projects.

The OPP continues to investigate whether there was any illegality in the gas plant cancellation.

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