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Hudak testifies at gas plant hearing

Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak speaks to CityNews on Jan. 24, 2013. CITYNEWS.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak testified Tuesday morning at a parliamentary committee looking into two cancelled GTA gas plants that cost Ontario residents at least $585 million.

The Liberals had requested Hudak testify, arguing both the Tories and the Liberals promised to scrap the Mississauga plant during the 2011 election campaign.

“The insinuation that anyone other than the Liberal party is responsible for this fiasco is an insult to the intelligence of every Ontarian,” Hudak told the committee.

“It’s a betrayal of a people who are now on the hook for hundreds of millions in dollars to save a handful of Liberal seats in the last election.”

Hudak has tried to introduce a confidence motion over the cancelled gas plants, accusing the government of a cover-up.

However, the minority governing Liberals would have had to allow a vote to proceed, which hasn’t happened.

After testifying, Hudak said he’d ask for a judicial inquiry into the decision, echoing NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. Horwath first called for a public inquiry in February, arguing it has more scope than a legislative committee.

The standing committee on justice policy is probing the Liberal government’s decision to shutter the two plants in Mississauga and Oakville. The cancelled Oakville plant cost taxpayers $310 million, while cancelling a partly-built gas plant in Mississauga just days before the 2011 provincial election cost at least $275 million.

Former premier Dalton McGuinty had said cancelling both plants cost just $230 million.

The government has admitted the decision to cancel the plants was politically motivated.

Last month, Premier Kathleen Wynne testified at the committee. While Wynne admitted the decision to shutter the Mississauga plant was political and said she took responsibility for the decision, she refused to apologize.