MPP Arnott says Liberals losing the trust of Ontarians over bribery scandal
Ted Arnott, MPP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2015
MPP Arnott says Liberals losing the trust of Ontarians over
(Queen’s Park) – With the Ontario Liberal Government in the midst of a by-election bribery
scandal, Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott questions how the Government can claim that
it maintains the trust of Ontarians.
“Last year’s Throne Speech contained at least one accurate statement: that in Government,
‘trust is hard earned, but easily lost,’” Mr. Arnott said in Question Period on February 26. “How
does the Premier expect the people of Ontario to trust her when she refuses to dismiss a top
aide who appears to have broken Ontario’s election law in the Sudbury by-election?”
On February 19, Ontario’s Chief Electoral Officer, Greg Essensa, submitted a bombshell report,
which found that Patricia Sorbara and Gerry Lougheed Jr. appear to have broken the Ontario
Elections Act by attempting to bribe a candidate not to run in the by-election by offering a
Government appointment. Ms. Sorbara serves as Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Deputy Chief of
Staff and Mr. Lougheed was appointed by the Liberal Government to the Sudbury Police
“When Elections Ontario concludes that a provincial appointee to a Police Services Board
appears to have broken the election law, which is exactly what they wrote in their report, the
Premier cannot pretend this is just another day at the office,” Mr. Arnott continued.
Mr. Arnott said afterwards that the Government’s continued denials give Ontarians further
reason to question the Liberals’ sincerity.
“Today during Question Period, the Premier claimed that there is no ‘finding’ in the Chief
Electoral Officer’s report, despite it being right there in black and white,” Mr. Arnott pointed out.
In his report, Mr. Essensa states: “Having reviewed the evidence and finding from this regulatory
investigation, I am of the opinion that the actions of Gerry Lougheed Jr. and Patricia Sorbara
amount to apparent contraventions of subsections 96.1(e) of the Election Act as reflected in my
“Ontario’s Chief Electoral Officer has never before investigated a bribery allegation, much less
found anyone in apparent contravention of the Elections Act. This is unprecedented,” Mr. Arnott
concluded. “And it’s beyond belief that Ms. Sorbara and Mr. Lougheed would have acted
without the Premier’s knowledge.”
– 30 –
Ted Arnott, MPP