Liberal Government Grilled for Hiding MaRS Bailout Records

Criticizing the Liberal Ontario government, Progressive Conservatives mentioned on Monday that the $309 million bailout of the mostly vacant MaRS office tower is turning out like the infamous gas plants scandal since the Liberal government is refusing to release documents.

Premier Wynne was criticized in the legislature after it returned for its fall session as the opposition parties demanded the government to release its agreement with a private developer and details on a loan to MaRS from Infrastructure Ontario made after a hasty rule change four years ago. Referring to previous Liberal government scandals regarding provincial air ambulance service and electronic health records agency, interim Progressive Conservative Leader Jim Wilson stated that “you obviously haven’t learned anything from ORNGE, eHealth or gas plants.” Wilson stated that “you’re continuing your propensity as Liberals to just throw more money after bad — rather than saying no.” In the first question period after the legislature resumed, Wilson stressed that “you owe the taxpayers an explanation.”

Whereas in response to all the criticism, Premier Wynne is persistent that the said documents are commercially sensitive and releasing them now would cause problems. Wynne’s stance seems quite similar to the one adopted earlier by the Liberal administration when opposition parties sought details about cancelled gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga before the 2011 election as compensation agreements were negotiated. Wynne revealed that “we’re not going to undermine an arrangement that would be in the best interest of the people of Ontario by providing information publicly that needs to be confidential for a period of time.”

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