TORONTO – Ontario’s New Democrats promise to vote for the minority Liberal government’s budget today to avoid a general election, despite a police probe into the mass deletion of emails on cancelled gas plants.
The Conservatives say they don’t understand how the NDP can call the Liberals corrupt for deleting emails to cover up the cost of cancelling gas plants and then prop up the government by voting for the budget.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says the budget contains several of her party’s ideas, including a cut in auto insurance premiums, higher welfare rates and more money for home care services for seniors.
Horwath says another key NDP demand met in the budget is the appointment of a Financial Accountability Officer that she believes will help prevent future scandals like the gas plants fiasco.
Finance Minister Charles Sousa says the public and bond rating agencies are looking for stability, and want a clear signal the minority government can work and the parties can co-operate by approving the budget.
The NDP also say an election now would kill the justice committee hearings into the cancellations of the gas plants, which are estimated to cost at least $585 million, far above the $230 million the Liberals had been claiming.
“It’s our responsibility and our obligation to use that committee to find all of the answers for Ontarians,” said Horwath.
“We want to know how deep this rabbit hole goes, and we’re doing our due diligence to hold the government to account.”
If the NDP really wanted to hold the government to account, they’d defeat the budget and trigger an election, said PC energy critic Vic Fedeli.
“Andrea Horwath calls them liars and corrupt in the morning and supports their budget in the afternoon,” said Fedeli.
“If they’re corrupt, as we all agree they are, then we have to call them to the carpet for that.”