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Opposition wants to hear from names in OPP search warrant

By Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

Laura Miller and Peter Faist. (Facebook photo)

Laura Miller and Peter Faist. (Facebook photo)

TORONTO - 

Ontario opposition parties will press for the return of key players in the alleged plan to wipe computer hard drives in the office of former premier Dalton McGuinty.

NDP MPPs — who walked out of the Ontario legislature Monday to protest the absence of Premier Kathleen Wynne — said the party intends to pursue a Speaker’s Warrant for Peter Faist, if needed, to bring him before a government committee investigating the possible destruction of public records related to the cancellation of two gas plants.

“There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the gas plant scandal coverup and the people of this province deserve the answers, so we’re going to continue to dig,” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Tuesday.

It was the Progressive Conservatives who put Faist on their list of witnesses to testify at committee.

Tory MPP Lisa MacLeod said the PCs will continue to pursue this issue even as she and her party’s leader, Tim Hudak, face possible legal action from Wynne.

“The fact that the premier wants to stop us from doing our jobs speaks more about her than it does, I think, about us,” MacLeod said. “And therefore, we’re going to continue to ask the tough questions whether the government likes that or not.”

Wynne has complained about Hudak’s allegations that she may have overseen the destruction of documents, noting she was not even in the premier’s office during the alleged activity.

An OPP warrant makes accusations, unproven in court, that Faist was brought in by McGuinty’s former chief of staff to wipe 24 hard drives.

The OPP have yet to say if an investigation of the hard drives confirmed the allegations.

Faist could not be reached for comment Tuesday but a lawyer for former McGuinty chief of staff David Livingston says there was no wrongdoing.

Government public accounts show that Faist’s numbered Ontario company was paid $103,152 by the Office of the Assembly in 2012-13 to provide services to the Liberal caucus office under McGuinty.

The Ontario Liberals have already disclosed that he received almost $160,000 in a three-year period — between June 2010 and January 2013 — but contracts under $50,000 are not identified in public accounts.

Faist was also under contract to the Ontario Liberal Party until last weekend.

Wynne said she had never heard of Faist prior to Thursday’s release of the OPP’s Information to Obtain.

“I came in and was responsible as of Feb. 11 and we made it clear that all documentation whether from the previous premier’s office or from my office that was asked for was going to be provided,” Wynne said. “And everyone knew that was our intention, that was our commitment and that’s what we followed through on.”

 


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