Ted Arnott, MPP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2013
Gas plant scandal demands accountability
(Queen’s Park) – Premier Kathleen Wynne should allow MPPs to debate and vote on a non-
confidence motion to demonstrate that her Government still has the legitimacy to table a budget,
says Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott.
He made that point in the Ontario Legislature during Question Period on April 30, 2013.
“In light of the emerging gas plant scandal, where the Government schemed to understate the
true cost of cancelling the Oakville and Mississauga plants, and then took deliberate steps to
hide who was responsible for deciding to cancel the plants, how can the Premier continue to
maintain the pretense that her Government has the confidence of this House?” Mr. Arnott asked
On April 15, the Auditor General confirmed that it cost $275 million to cancel the Mississauga
gas plant; not $190 million like the Government had long insisted. The Auditor General is also
expected to release a report into the cost of cancelling the Oakville plant later this year. It is
expected the cancellation of that plant will also cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
Mr. Arnott argued that the Government’s decision to waste hundreds of millions of dollars to
save Liberal seats demands accountability.
“Hundreds of years of parliamentary tradition dictate that any vote can be designated confidence
by the Government and any Government that can’t command the confidence of the House
should resign,” said Mr. Arnott.
“By refusing to call the confidence motion for debate and a vote in this House, the Government
demonstrates it believes it might be defeated if the vote were held. If they themselves don’t
believe they can command the confidence of the House, what gives them the right to table a
budget on Thursday afternoon?” he concluded.
(Attached: Hansard record of Mr. Arnott’s Questions to the Premier in the Ontario Legislature
and the Government’s responses, April 30, 2013.)
– 30 –
Ted Arnott, MPP
Ontario Hansard – 30-April 2013
Mr. Ted Arnott: My question is for the Premier. In light of the emerging gas plant scandal, where the
government schemed to understate the true cost of cancelling the Oakville and Mississauga gas plants and
then took deliberate steps to hide who was responsible for deciding to cancel the gas plants, how can the
Premier continue to maintain the pretense that her government has the confidence of this House?
Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: Government House leader.
Hon. John Milloy: Mr. Speaker, there’s been a lot of talk this morning about transparency. This
afternoon, the Premier of this province will be appearing before committee, as suggested.
After the arrogance of what went on across the way-and I hope there will be an apology to the Premier
from the member from Prince Edward-Hastings, who stood in this House and said, “We shouldn’t have to
haul you before the committee like some Quebec construction industry snitch”; the member from Leeds-
Grenville, who talked about playing calendar and playing games. Yet when we asked the Leader of the
Opposition to be before the committee today, he was suddenly too busy. He may appear on the 7th or the
14th; who knows. When we asked Geoff Janoscik, the candidate in Mississauga South, to come before the
committee, he refused.
Mr. Speaker, I will go on in my supplementary.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Stop the clock. There’s a moment in which it’s difficult to find whether
or not I can land somewhere, because everyone’s heckling, even when the answer is being given from the
members of that side, and when the question is being put on that side. You would help everybody if we all
agreed just to stop heckling, and let the question be put and let the answer be put.
Mr. Ted Arnott: Well, the Premier keeps saying that the budget motion is a confidence motion, but taken
literally, it only pertains to the budgetary policy of the government, not confidence in an overall sense. In
contrast, our confidence motion allows for a more comprehensive test of the confidence that the House
has in the government, setting aside the political auction sales that the last two budgets had become in this
Hundreds of years of parliamentary tradition dictate that any vote can be designated as confidence by the
government, and any government that can’t command the confidence of the House should resign.
By refusing to call the confidence motion for debate and a vote in this House, the government
demonstrates that it believes it might be defeated if a vote were held. If they themselves don’t believe that
they can command the confidence of the House, what gives them the right to table a budget this Thursday
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Be seated, please. Thank you.
Hon. John Milloy: You know, Mr. Speaker, I keep hearing heckles across the way that this is a serious
business, and it is a serious business-
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The member for Simcoe-Grey, come to order. The member for Leeds-
Grenville, come to order. Thank you. Now you’ve got it.
Hon. John Milloy: Mr. Speaker, this isn’t political games that we’re asking these people to come before
Geoff Janoscik put out a press release saying, “Unlike the Dalton McGuinty Liberals, the only way to
guarantee this power plant does not get built is to elect a Tim Hudak Ontario PC government.” We asked
him to come before the committee to talk about the PCs’ position on the cancellation; he has refused.
We asked Mary Anne DeMonte-Whelan to come before the committee. She put out a pamphlet to
thousands of houses saying, “The only party that will stop the Sherway power plant is the Ontario PC
Party.” This morning, at the last minute, she cancelled.
Will they work with their colleagues to make sure that these witnesses come before the committee?