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Hudak stands by allegations Wynne oversaw wiping of hard drives

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak remains unapologetic about accusations he made last week that Premier Kathleen Wynne was allegedly involved in the deletion of emails connected to the cancelled gas plants.

However, he did modify the words he is using.

Last week, he accused Premier Wynne outright of possibly ordering the destruction of documents, but at a news conference on Monday morning, he said it happened under her watch.

“I was very clear … on what I said on Thursday — the premier was in charge. And if she didn’t ask for that directly … then she was overseeing the operation. She was in charge. If it’s not true, and just following up what we got from the OPP, the choice is pretty clear,” Hudak said.

“Either she was involved and knew what was going on, or she was extraordinarily incompetent and looked the other way. I think both reasons means she can’t be trusted to run the province anymore.”

Hudak also dismissed Wynne’s threat of legal action.

“She wants to spend time and taxpayer money coming after me and my team with a lawsuit, instead of focusing on issues like creating jobs in our province,” he said.

Hudak doesn’t buy Wynne’s claims that she didn’t know what was going on in the premier’s office until after she officially took over the job from McGuinty.

“Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne are responsible for the gas plants scandal, both a waste of $1 billion, and they’re also responsible for the criminal destruction of evidence,” he said.

He said Wynne was acting as if she were premier in late January 2013, even though she wasn’t sworn in until Feb. 11.

“Once she became leader of the party, as premier-designate, Wynne was in charge, and this allegation of criminal destruction of evidence took place on her watch — that means she’s as responsible for this scandal as McGuinty is.”

“Just like Dalton McGuinty, Kathleen Wynne has sought to prevent the facts about the gas plants scandal from coming to light,” Hudak said.

“There are serious allegations of criminal activity in the premier’s office from the OPP anti-racket squad, and that premier is Kathleen Wynne, not Dalton McGuinty.”

Ontario PC Energy Critic Lisa MacLeod said at the news conference that “this is a pattern of behaviour who wants to cling to power at any cost.”

“Once again, Tim Hudak is making false statements without any evidence,” the premier’s office said in a statement released shortly after the news conference.

It went on to say, “regarding the Premier’s computer, the ITO lists names alongside each hard drive — the Premier’s name is not in that list.”

“In addition, no taxpayer money has been spent, nor will it be spent, for any legal work regarding Mr. Hudak’s false statements.”

The premier won’t be in question period on Monday since she’s in Sault Ste. Marie for an education announcement.

New Democrats Leader Andrea Horwath stood with her entire caucus and walked out of the legislature in protest.

“The premier is making a mockery of accountability. New Democrats will not participate,” Horwath said.

In a open letter on Sunday, Wynne threatened Hudak with legal action if he doesn’t retract “false, misleading and defamatory” accusations he made last week.

MacLeod shot back and told reporters the premier was attempting to muzzle the opposition.

Hudak’s remarks stemmed from newly released court documents in which police alleged McGuinty’s former chief of staff David Livingston committed breach of trust when he gave an outside tech expert access to computers in the premier’s office.

With files from The Canadian Press