The MPP for Timmins-James Bay issued a statement today calling for an indendendent prosecutor to be brought in if it's determined Elections Act rules were broken in the Sudbury byelection.
Responding to news that Premier Kathleen Wynne and Pat Sorbara, her deputy chief of staff, would be interviewed by Elections Ontario in regards to what he called "attempted bribery" in the byelection, Gilles Bisson (NDP) said the public must be assured of independence and impartiality in the case.
Elections Ontario is investigating after independent candidate Andrew Olivier alleged, and then released tapes of conversations, in which Sorbara and local Liberal fundraiser Gerry Lougheed Jr. speak to him about dropping out of the byelection and backing Glenn Thibeault, who was the candidate Wynne planned on appointing.
The Liberals argue Sorbara and Lougheed (and Wynne, who also called Olivier, but no recordings of that conversation have surfaced) were only trying to keep Olivier involved in the party by presenting him options of how he could do so. Olivier and others say the candidate was being offered a bribe.
“I’m pleased that Elections Ontario will be interviewing Premier Wynne and her deputy chief of staff about their role in an attempted bribery to give Mr. Andrew Olivier an appointment or job offer in exchange for not seeking the Liberal nomination in Sudbury," Bisson said in the statement.
"Given the unprecedented nature of the Premier of Ontario being investigated as part of an alleged bribery scandal, it’s imperative that any reporting from Elections Ontario be made public. If charges are laid, an independent prosecutor, from outside Ontario, must be appointed so that the Liberals can’t interfere in the judicial process."
In the release, Bisson said Ontario has brought in independent prosecutors before, citing the 2009 case of former Attorney General Michael Bryant, who was charged with criminal negligence causing death.