Tories feast on Liberal BLTs

(Update)The New Democratic Party showed up at Queen’s Park Tuesday morning ready to grill the premier on the gas plant scandal — but they were preempted by the Progressive Conservatives, who say they have extensive details of the budget the Liberals plan to unveil next month.Tory leader Tim Hudak says disgruntled public servants leaked details about how the Liberals plan to reveal their upcoming budget plan. “They’ve drafted senior civil servants in what they call a budget leaking team. It’s unprecedented abuse and civil servants don’t like it. It’s not their job. That’s why we have whistleblowers.”The documents say the budget will include money for in vitro fertilization, school nutrition programs, incentives for businesses and the end of the hydro debt retirement charge on residential bills.“We’re talking about 39 spending announcements totalling $5.7 billion dollars. We can’t afford it.”He says the budget is to be presented to the legislature May 1st. But finance minister Charles Sousa won’t confirm any details.“The document will be released and I will release the date in the coming weeks. I have not finalized anything at this point.”Premier Kathleen Wynne also shrugged off the leak, saying it’s normal to have a communication plan before a budget. “It’s unfortunate those confidential plans may have been released, but the substance is exactly what I have said we are going to do.”The Liberals need the NDP to support the budget to avoid a spring election, but leader Andrea Horwath was non-committal. “There could be all kinds of speculation, all kinds of leaks. what people expect us to do at this time is dig into the cover-up of the gas plant scandal, and make sure we get answers we deserve.”New Democrats want a public inquiry into the gas plant relocation cover-up and they’re also trying to get Peter Faist to testify at the committee hearings; they say they haven’t been able to get hold of him. Faist is the computer tech named in court documents and alleged to have wiped Liberal hard drives clean of any evidence.The Tories want to know whether Faist had security clearance before he was given access to those computers. Wynne distanced herself, saying her involvement was very limited, and that it all happened before she was premier. read more