June 1st, 2018

From bad to worse: Horwath says Ontario shouldn’t go from Liberal corruption to PC corruption

Horwath promises specific steps to clean up corruption

TORONTO – NDP Leader Andrea Horwath urged Ontario Friday not to go from Liberal corruption to Conservative corruption. Instead, she’s promising action to clean up politics in Ontario – and called on Ontarians to help her stop Doug Ford and clean up Queen’s Park and party politics in the province.

“People are fed up,” said Horwath. “And they’re right to be. MPPs should be held to a high ethical standard – but instead, Liberal and Conservative politicians have been embroiled in scandal after scandal, helping themselves and their well-connected insider friends instead of making life better for everyday Ontarians.

“The Ornge air ambulance scandal. The gas plants scandal. The Sudbury bribery trial. Now, allegations of influence-peddling and threats going right up to the premier’s chair. And with Doug Ford and the PC Party, it’s allegations that his Conservatives may have stolen the private, personal data of tens of thousands of everyday Ontarians to use for political gain – a scandal that follows a year of nomination controversy after nomination controversy already being investigated by police. Let’s not go from bad to worse in Ontario. Together, we need to stop Doug Ford.”

Horwath has sent a letter to the Integrity Commissioner regarding allegations contained in a shocking two-day investigative report published in the Globe and Mail. On Friday, she committed to three specific actions to root out corruption in Ontario politics.

  • Horwath will strike an all-party committee to get to the bottom of improper influence on the spending of public dollars, especially when it comes to procurement through Infrastructure Ontario. It will be similar in structure to the all-party committee that investigated the Liberal gas plants scandal
  • Horwath will call on Elections Ontario to engage independent experts and to come forward with recommended legislation to get the corruption out of party nominations. The Chief Electoral Officer will make recommendations within the year to provide clear ethical rules and ensure party nominations are conducted legally and transparently
  • Horwath will ask the OPP to consider an investigation into the allegations involving threats made to – and by – elected officials, as well as allegations of influence-peddling, bid-rigging, and possible corruption in procurement. That request follows details reported in the Globe and Mail

“Together, we can clean up politics,” said Horwath. “We can put people at the heart of every decision government makes instead of the friends and insiders of Liberal and Conservative politicians.

“Together, this Thursday, we can put the premier’s office back to work for the people of Ontario.”