Premier shouldn’t be using Northern appearance to avoid gas plant scandal questions says NDP Michael Mantha

Michael Mantha MPP for Algoma—Manitoulin. File photo.

Queen’s Park – Today Michael Mantha, MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin and NDP Northern Development and Mines Critic, said the Premier shouldn’t be using an appearance in Sault Ste. Marie to excuse herself from serious questions about the gas plant scandal.

“Northerners want answers from the Premier as much as every Ontarian. That’s the least she can offer by doing her job and being present during Question Period,” Mantha said.

While the Liberal government is facing an OPP investigation into criminal offenses surrounding the gas plant scandal, the Premier was absent from Question Period today and attended an announcement in Sault Ste. Marie with two Northern cabinet ministers.

A CTV report in Sault Ste. Marie today says the venues that hosted the Premier’s announcement were informed only on Saturday about the Premier’s appearance. According to the report, it was a “last minute” arrangement. That runs contrary to what the Deputy Premier said today. Deb Matthews claimed the Premier’s appearance was scheduled long in advance.

“The Premier is facing new and serious allegations about the gas plants scandal that she needs to answer. This last minute arrangement made to spirit the Premier to Sault Ste. Marie is yet another example of government cover-up and another example of this government’s disrespect towards Northerners. The Premier used the people of Sault Ste. Marie to hide from her government’s scandal,” Mantha said.

“The Premier has shown very poor judgment in using Sault Ste. Marie to dodge questions at Queen’s Park. It’s obvious today’s government announcement could have been made by either of the two Ministers present; one of which represents Sault Ste. Marie. It’s shameful the Premier chose the North to hide from her responsibilities.”

In the first question period following the release of the Gas Plant OPP warrant information, the Premier chose not to attend question period. In protest, New Democrats walked out of Question Period.

“Northerners and all Ontarians deserve answers, but they’re not coming from this government. The Premier has refused a public inquiry, and now she’s refusing to show up for work to answer questions. That’s not acceptable,” Mantha said.

“We expect the Premier to show respect to Northern families and families across Ontario, by answering questions about the new information concerning the gas plants scandal and the cover-up,” Mantha said.

-NDP Press Release