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Brad Duguid ‘claims’ he advised Liberals in 2011 that scrapping power plant was a bad idea

Rob Ferguson – Toronto Star — April 24, 2013

Breaking ranks with former premier Dalton McGuinty, former energy minister Brad Duguid said it was a bad idea to scrap a Mississauga power plant late in the 2011 election campaign.

The decision — which has left the minority Liberal government in turmoil over the $275 million cost to taxpayers — was short-term gain for long-term pain, Duguid suggested Tuesday.

He was testifying under oath before a legislative committee investigating the cancelled plant near Sherway Gardens and another in Oakville a year earlier — moves that new Premier Kathleen Wynne has admitted were “politically motivated” to save Liberal seats.

“I advised them . . . I’m not in favour of doing that,” Duguid said, surprising MPPs about his advice on the Mississauga plant cancellation amid community opposition less than two weeks before the vote on Oct. 6, 2011.

“The energy file had been going well during the election. It wasn’t a good time to bring it up.”

Duguid thought he had short-circuited the cancellation plan when the Liberal re-election team called him for input earlier in the campaign. But then came a final call from Sean Mullin, who had been an energy policy adviser campaign in McGuinty’s office, informing Duguid of the top-level decision.

The admission from Duguid — minister of Training, Colleges and Universities under Wynne, who will appear before the committee next week — took opposition MPPs by surprise.

“This was news to me. The Liberal campaign team was pretty clear: ministers of energy are nice things to have around but not things you use,” said New Democrat MPP Peter Tabuns (Toronto—Danforth).  Continue reading, here….

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