January 30, 2013
Ontario energy ministry staffer told OPA not to disclose gas-plant docs: Letter
By Jonathan Jenkins, Queen's Park Bureau
TORONTO -- An energy ministry staffer directed the Ontario Power Authority to hold off from disclosing potentially relevant documents on the $230 million decision to cancel two gas plants, an internal OPA letter obtained by the Progressive Conservatives says.
“Ministry staff now say that they did not instruct OPA staff to exclude attachments where the correspondence does not mention Oakville or Mississauga,” OPA vice-president of communications Kristin Jenkins wrote to the agency’s president, Colin Anderson, on Oct. 3, 2012.
“As you are aware, both Ziyaad (Mia) and I have been clear that this is in fact what Jesse Kulendran told us to do at the meeting on Aug. 22.”
Kulendran was seconded to the energy conservation unit from the deputy minister’s office, although the opposition noted she had been a political staffer in the past.
The OPA and energy ministry were ordered to disclose all their files on the cancellation of gas plants in Mississauga and Oakville by Speaker Dave Levac last fall, after the estimates committee demanded to see them.
The government had released 36,000 pages of documents last September, saying that was all it had in its files but the opposition insisted there were obvious gaps in the records.
Ministers repeatedly denied anything was missing before the government suddenly reversed itself and dumped another 20,000 pages on Oct. 12, saying they had been missed “inadvertently.”