12/19/2014 11:29 EST | Updated 02/18/2015 05:59 EST

NDP demand more hearings into destruction of documents on cancelled gas plants

TORONTO - New allegations that Ontario's Liberals paid a computer expert with no security clearance $10,000 to wipe hard drives in the former premier's office show why a legislative committee's work is not done, opposition parties say.

The New Democrats and Progressive Conservatives want Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne to recall the legislature and restart committee hearings into the destruction of documents on the cancellation of two gas plants at a cost of up to $1.1 billion.

The Liberals shut down the committee hearings in October before former premier Dalton McGuinty's deputy chief of staff Laura Miller and her computer expert spouse Peter Faist could face questions about the wiping of the hard drives.

The opposition has asked since then — to no avail — for the hearings to be reopened, saying the committee needs to hear from them.

Court documents released Thursday in an Ontario Provincial Police investigation into the document deletion show that police allege Faist was paid $10,000 by the Liberal caucus to wipe off personal data on approximately 20 desktop computers in the premier's office.

The new information shows the work of the committee will only be "half complete" if it isn't allowed to hear from Miller and Faist, Progressive Conservative Michael Harris said.

"The Liberal caucus had been holding or hiding these skeletons in their closet all along," he said. "They shouldn't be allowed to get away with closing down our committee before the work is done."

The Liberals have said that after three years and 90 witnesses it's time for the committee to write its report, which means no more testimony.

"We look forward to reviewing their final report when the legislature resumes," government house leader Yasir Naqvi said in a statement.

"That is a crock," said Harris. "Yesterday's documents show that there were emails that were not part of the original documents that were requested by the committee. It's clear there were emails in there that the committee has not seen and that's why the committee's work is not done."

NDP house leader Gilles Bisson wrote Wynne to say the "orchestrated coverup" of gas plants documents calls into question the integrity and honesty of her and the entire Liberal government.

"This cover-up started in 2012 when computers began to be wiped and it is continuing today under your watch as the people at the heart of the scandal continue to be protected," Bisson wrote.

"This scandal is growing, not shrinking."

Bisson said the documents prepared by police to obtain a search warrant of the government's cyber security office show senior Liberals "took every step possible to get around" requests to produce gas plants-related emails.