Amid the giddy thrill of this month’s Gomeryball double-header, featuring the concurrent criminal trials of Ontario Liberal sluggos for gas plant and byelection dirty works, it is Frank‘s sad duty to announce a notable scratch from the fight card.
It seems Kathleen Wynne, who this week lent the gravitas and dignity of the premier’s office to Pat Sorbara and Gerry Lougheed‘s byelection bribery trial in Sudbury, will be the only Liberal supremo to appear in this cirque du sleaze.
When the breach of trust trial for Dalton McWimpy‘s top fartcatchers David Livingston and Laura Miller finally gets underway in Toronto, after last-minute disclosure argle-bargles, it will do so without hearing from the man nominally in charge when all those emails disappeared from devices in the premier’s office.
Prosecutor Tom Lemon will not call Ontario’s 24th premier about the spontaneous and systematic deletion, allegedly engineered by his most trusted aides, completely without his knowledge, implied blessing or secret hand signal.
Without even a “good to go” email, à la Nigel Wright, it seems the prosecution is satisfied that Derwood, whom the OPP interviewed as part of their due diligence, can add nothing to the story of what transpired between the top fartcatchers in his office.
This decision, by no means a sure thing before Lemon took over the file at the Public Prosecution Service, is no doubt a relief to McWimpy, who has proven surpassingly sensitive to any speck upon his spotless legacy.
Readers may recall the Ottawa Petfinder‘s unprecedented front-page grovel to McWimpy back in 2014 for its coverage of the gas plant scandale, which had at the time not yet resulted in charges.
Curiously, not a single statement of fact was regretted or retracted, apart from having “wrongly stated that the OPP was investigating the relocation of two gas plants. In fact, the OPP are investigating an alleged breach of trust.”
So to be clear, then, not the cancellation, but the alleged cover-up. The rest of the apology begged Dalton’s forgiveness, on the front page, for “implications.”
“Some of the articles falsely implied that Mr. McGuinty was the subject of an Ontario Provincial Police investigation. Mr. McGuinty is not the subject of any police investigation and we wrongly left this false impression with our readers by not reporting that fact in each story.”
Indeed, one could get that impression, given OPP flatfeet had interviewed McGuinty, served production orders for documents from his office and identified Livingston as a prime suspect in the alleged cover-up and computer sanitization, as had been factually reported by the fishwrap o’ record.
Then, the abject cherry on top: “Mr. McGuinty faithfully and honourably served the people of Ottawa South for over 23 years as MPP and as Premier.” (now tell him he’s pretty!!—ed.)
“While the media can, and sometimes should, disagree with a decision made by an elected official, their duty is to convey accurate and true information.
“The Citizen regrets having published these false implications, and sincerely apologizes to Mr. Dalton McGuinty, his wife Terri and his family for all harm caused by these articles.”
This bizarre ritual abasement, it transpired, had been personally ordered up by Postmedia CEO/undertaker Paul Godfrey. Needless to say, McWimpy’s 2009 appointment of the Liberal-abhoring Godfrey as chairthingy of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, had no bearing on the matter.
But despair not, Daltonmanics. The ex-preem, despite much reluctance and lawyering to the contrary, is still currently on tap to yestify in a $65-million civil suit brought by horse breeders who complain they were deprived of their rightful piece of the racetrack slot machine action when OLG rejiggered the revenue scheme in 2012.