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Tories want OPP to probe destroyed gas plants emails

Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives want the provincial police to investigate the destruction of emails about two cancelled GTA gas plants by Liberal staffers.

MPP Victor Fedeli said Thursday he’s drawn up a letter to be sent to the OPP commissioner, urging him to investigate.

On Wednesday, the province’s information and privacy commissioner revealed in a report that top Liberal staffers in former premier Dalton McGuinty’s office and his energy minister broke the law by deleting their emails on the cancelled gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga. The cancellations cost taxpayers at least $585 million.

The removal and destruction of emails constitute theft and a breach of taxpayer trust, Fedeli said.

He wants the police to determine how widespread the document deletion was and if any of the missing data can be recovered.

During question period, Fedeli urged Premier Kathleen Wynne to join the Tories in their request for the police investigation.

“The OPP are independent and they’ll do what they deem best,” Wynne responded.

She said she was pleased Ann Cavoukian had issued her report and agreed with the privacy commissioner’s conclusions that it should not have happened, that changes need to be made and that action needs to be taken so that “this won’t happen again.”

The Opposition parties have argued the email purge was to help cover up the total cost of cancelling the gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga.

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.

Wynne replaced McGuinty in January.