This month the former chief of staff to Dalton McGuinty, David Livingston will face sentencing for his guilty conviction for the gas plant scandal. For those of you who might not remember, in 2011 two gas fired power plants were set to be built in Oakville and Mississauga, the plans were cancelled and it end up costing Canadians $1.1 billion dollars. This was because they became political liabilities for the liberal McGuinty team prior to the 2011 election. At first the liberals cancel the Mississauga development, then Kathleen Wynne, who was campaign co-chair, cancelled the Oakville development as well. It was stated that this was done because it wasn’t right to build the power plants so close to schools, homes and hospitals. At first it appears that this was a good political move for the liberals as their party won, but scandal was soon to follow.
Gas Plant Cancellations
PC MPP Rob Leone wanted the government to hand over documents with details about the gas plant cancellations, and the government refused to respond. A public inquiry was started when the Speaker of the Legislature sent the matter to a justice policy committee with then started a public inquiry.
It was then discovered that all the computer files relating to the Oakville and Mississauga gas plants had been deleted. Not only were the files deleted once, but they went through a process of double deletion to ensure they were gone forever. This allowed them to keep the information secret and avoid any accountability or transparency that the Canadian citizens deserve. Livingston hired Peter Faist, a private computer consultant and common law spouse to prior deputy chief Laura Miller, who was paid $11,000 to delete the files. Livingston tried to defend his actions by saying that he just wanted to delete personal information from the computers such as family photos and resumes and that it was an accident that everything was deleted…twice.
The Punishment Should fit the Crime
While the guilty verdict of David Livingston is great, it will not bring back the $1.1 billion dollars that the liberal government lost, and then tried to hide. As citizens we have to remember moments like this. It is easy to believe the propaganda set forth by this government that they are all loving and fighting for the rights of the Canadian people and doing the best they can financially, but actions always speak louder than words. We can not forget that no politician or political party is infallible and that all of them, regardless of their political leanings, must be kept in check and we have to push for complete transparency of our government officials. Hopefully David Livingston will receive a punishment that fits the crime.
Benjamin Diaz started working for Debate Report in 2017. Ben grew up in a small town in northern Ontario. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife a year later. Benhas been a proud Torontonian for the past 10 years. He covers politics and the economy. Previously he wrote for CTV News and the Huffington Post Canada.