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Kathleen Wynne insists that she didn’t know.
For 90 minutes, minus the time she was deftly addressing the muffin-soft questions lovingly served up by Liberal members of the Standing Committee on Justice Policy, the Premier said in many different ways that she was no more aware of the true cost to the Ontario public of cancelling two gas-plant projects — a number that keeps being ratcheted higher, and went from $315-million to $585-million on Tuesday alone — than was the Ontario public.
When the plants were killed, did she, as a member of the Liberal cabinet, have any idea of the scope of the resultant costs?
“I didn’t have access to any of those numbers,” she said. Did she, as a vice-chair of the Dalton McGuinty-led re-election bid in 2011, realize the dollars that were involved in cancelling the Mississauga plant in the middle of the campaign?
“I was not part of the strategy discussions around that decision,” she said. Why did the Liberals continue to cite figures of $190-million to cancel and relocate the Mississauga plant, and $40-million to do the same with the Oakville facility, even as critics, media and analysts said the numbers would easily be much, much higher?
“That’s the information we were given,” the Premier said.
Didn’t you realize that there would be costs over and above the sunk costs of cancellation that the Liberals now admit they were using all along?
“I didn’t have access to those financial parameters.” Or, as she put it on the floor of the legislature a few hours earlier during Question Period, she had always “told the truth as I understood it.”
Near the end of her sometimes-combative session before the justice committee, Ms. Wynne was asked if Mr. McGuinty, her predecessor, had ever briefed her on the gas-plant file. There was no dissembling. “No,” she said.
For the rest of this column, click here: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/04/30/scott-stinson-kathleen-wynne-counting-on-voters-being-as-forgiving-over-cancelled-power-plants-as-ndp-are/