Andrew Olivier has accused Premier Kathleen Wynne's deputy chief of staff Pat Sorbara and Liberal Gerry Lougheed of offering him a job in exchange for not running in the Feb. 5 byelection in Sudbury. Olivier, who is a quadriplegic and records conversations in lieu of taking notes, posted online audio recording of the conversations during which he alleges the offers were made.
Wynne has denied the allegations, saying Olivier and the two Liberals were aware during those conversations that she had already decided that former New Democrat Glenn Thibeault would be the candidate.
Quotes from a Dec. 12 conversation between Olivier and Sorbara:
"So Andrew let me ask you this, I mean, of course you recognize the position that we're going to find ourselves in here, right, where she's going to have to make a decision around the appointment, right, versus, allowing this to go ahead." — Sorbara
"I think she's going to, to move ahead with the appointment, then what, you say, 'I'm unhappy and I'm not going to help, I'm no longer a Liberal?' What's the next step then? It's not going to — you think because you're stepping back she's going to say OK, we're going to have a race?" — Sorbara
"We should have the broader discussion about what is it that you'd be most interested in doing and then decide what shape that could take that would fulfil that, is what I'm getting at, whether it's a full-time or part-time job at a constituency office, whether it is appointments to boards or commissions, whether it is also going on the exec." — Sorbara
Quotes from a Dec. 11 conversation between Olivier and Loughheed:
"So I come to you on behalf of the premier and on behalf of, I guess, Thibeault more indirectly, to ask you if you would consider stepping down — more than that Andrew, nominating him. In the course of that deliberation the premier wants to talk to you. They would like to present to you options in terms of appointments, jobs, whatever, that you and her and Pat Sorbara can talk about." — Lougheed
"The premier up to now has always said to me she's in favour of a nomination process, so I want to make that really clear. She's never said to me, 'I'm going to appoint him,' and to be fair to Glenn, Glenn has never said, 'I want to be appointed.'" — Lougheed
"I hate to sound kind of Machiavellian about it, but at the end of the day, if you take the high road on this, what is your, what is your reward?" — Lougheed.
"Right now if I had to make a decision before you walked out that door, Gerry, I'm going to run." Olivier
"This is the issue. The premier may stay with a nomination, she may go with an appointment. You don't know. I think you and her need to talk about it." — Lougheed