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Nicholls: “When you mess up, you fess up!” Minister Bentley & McGuinty violate the trust of Ontarians

September 27, 2012

(QUEEN’S PARK) – With Minister of Energy, Chris Bentley being charged with contempt
of Parliament, Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nicholls renewed his call for both proper
answers and the full truth with regard to the Mississauga and Oakville power plants.

“When you mess up, you fess up,” said Nicholls. “The Minister of Energy was given
ample opportunity to in fact fess up, but he, sadly, has refused to act in accordance with
the initial requests of the estimates committee, of which I am a committee member, and
the request of the speaker of the house.”

Minister Bentley finally released 36,000 pages of documents of which many were either
blank or blackened out on Monday regarding the costs to cancel these energy plants.
“All we asked for was an answer to simple questions, and all this government gave us
was a litany of excuses on why they were unwilling to provide us with the truth” said
Nicholls. “After months of foot-dragging, the documents have been released, but six
months of covering up the truth from the people is simply unacceptable.”

“Were they simply buying more time for more secretive deals? Only those who have
something to hide are afraid of public scrutiny. Those fearful of what the truth will bring to
light hide behind empty technicalities. Why did this Premier not release all documents
related to the cancelled power plants immediately upon request?”

Nicholls noted that the price tag the Liberals have hung on the taxpayer for their “seat
saver” political stunt will in all likelihood be much, much higher. Some published
accounts have put the cost closer to $650 million for the cancellation of the plants.
“One of the most fundamental bedrocks of a democratic society is a transparent and
accountable government. When a government hides information and ignores the public’s
right to know how their hard-earned money is being spent, it constitutes a total assault
on democracy,” said Nicholls.

“This goes beyond mere partisanship and politics. Ontario is in serious trouble, and
under this Liberal government, that trouble is only getting more severe,” Nicholls stated.
“Despite the fact that the NDP supported our motion of contempt, today we have now
learned they will no longer participate in the debate.”

“Only the PCs can restore the lost trust the people of Ontario have in government after
almost a decade of abysmal failure, debt and scandal. It’s time for change.”