Premier Kathleen Wynne’s office is refusing to release a notice of libel sent to Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak on Friday. But CityNews obtained a copy of it which can be viewed below.
Ontario Provincial Police’s anti-rackets squad is investigating the alleged wiping of computer hard drives in the premier’s office related to the two cancelled GTA gas plants.
Wynne wants Hudak to retract his statement suggesting she was involved in the deletion of hard drives.
The premier’s press secretary, Zita Astravas, told CityNews in an email on Friday evening that libel notices were also served in the afternoon to the PC party and Tory MPP Lisa MacLeod.
A libel notice is the first step in the process of filing a defamation lawsuit, but doesn’t necessarily infer a lawsuit will be launched.
“I’m not backing down. They’re not going to silence us. We’re not going to be part of the coverup. We’re going to hold them to account,” Hudak said during a radio show on Bell-owned stations on Sunday.
At a news conference on Monday morning, he said, “we’re not going to be intimidated by a series of angry letters.”
The issue could be what triggers a spring election. On Monday, Wynne sounded campaign ready, and described life as she sees it with a PC government.
“Deep cuts in health care and education, teachers and support workers in the school system,” Wynne said.
“Nurses would be fired, that there would be deep cuts and losses in our education and health care system. So that’s the wrong way to go.”
Astravas said the libel notice will not be made public but didn’t say why. Hudak’s office also isn’t releasing it, saying it’s up to the Liberals.
In court documents, provincial police have alleged that computer access was given by David Livingston, former premier Dalton McGuinty’s chief of staff.
However, Wynne insists McGuinty’s staff did not have access to the premier’s office after she took over on Feb. 11, 2013.
According to police, computer experts cannot determine when 20 of 24 hard drives were accessed with a special password that was valid for weeks after Wynne was sworn in.
The cancellation of two gas plants in Mississauga and Oakville cost taxpayers $1.1 billion.