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Wynne apologizes for $585M gas plant scandal

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne appears before the legislature's justice committee at the Ontario Legislature in Toronto on April 30, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

For the first time, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has apologized for cancelling two GTA gas plants, a move that cost the province at least $585 million.

Wynne made her comment on TVO on Tuesday night, speaking to Steve Paikin on The Agenda. She apologized 11 separate times.

“I am very sorry that this happened the way it did. I am very sorry about the mistakes that we made. We made mistakes, our government made mistakes, things happened that shouldn’t have happened and they happened in a way that they shouldn’t have happened,” Wynne said.

“I’m sorry for that and I take responsibility.”

Wynne, who replaced former premier Dalton McGuinty when he resigned over the escalating air ambulance and cancelled power plant scandals, apologized after being dogged for months by the Opposition.

She also apologized at Queen’s Park on Wednesday.

Last month, Wynne testified at a parliamentary committee looking into the cancellation of the Mississauga and Oakville plants.

While Wynne admitted the decision to shutter the Mississauga plant was political and said she took responsibility for the decision, she refused to apologize at the time.

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.

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

Wynne said that the upcoming budget vote is a confidence motion and the Tories will have their chance to vote against the minority Liberal government then.

Wynne is scheduled to meet with NDP Leader Andrea Horwath later on Wednesday to discuss the budget. The Liberals need the support of the NDP to ensure the budget passes. The Tories have already said they’d vote against it.