Dalton McGuinty's turn to testify at gas plants hearing

By Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

Dalton McGuinty. (Toronto Sun files)

Dalton McGuinty. (Toronto Sun files)


Former premier Dalton McGuinty will be in the hot seat Tuesday when he appears as a witness at an Ontario government committee probing the costly cancellations of two unpopular gas plants.

McGuinty was in charge when his government pulled the plug on an Oakville plant in 2010 and a Mississauga plant in 2011 — at a cost to Ontarians of at least $585 million.

Premier Kathleen Wynne, whose government announced Monday that it would seek a new process for locating large energy projects, said she’s pleased that McGuinty will be before the committee.

“I know that he will answer the questions with honesty and integrity,” Wynne said.

A Forum Research Inc. poll found that the majority of Ontarians believe the Liberal government lied to them about the real cost of relocating the Oakville plant — first pegged at $40 million, but now at least $310 million.

Almost half of Ontarians polled also indicated that they believe the current Liberal government is “corrupt.”

Wynne said she believes it is “unacceptable” that the information on the cost of the plants wasn’t clear earlier.

“I’ve said that I regret — very much regret — that we’re in this situation,” she said.

The Ontario Standing Committee on Justice Policy has been probing the gas plant decisions, and has so far heard from several witnesses who stated that it was known from the beginning that costs would climb.

PC Leader Tim Hudak said he’s hoping for “honesty, some truth” from McGuinty.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath expressed hope that McGuinty will shed light on the behind-the-scenes decisions that led to the cancellations.

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