QUEEN’S PARK (April 3) – Progressive Conservative Party Leader John Tory today pointed to further evidence of attempts by Dalton McGuinty’s office to cover-up the lottery scandal before it became public.
“When people buy lottery tickets, they are buying a dream,” said Tory. “They expect that the system is going to be fair and trustworthy. They expect that you will take those interests to heart and deal with problems when you find out about them. But instead of fixing this up, you tried to cover it up.”
Tory started off Question Period today by noting with sadness the passing of Bob Edmonds, who battled Ontario Lottery and Gaming for a prize that was taken away from him by an unscrupulous retailer.
He then revealed that according to PC sources, Wilson Lee, now chief of staff to Minister David Caplan, attended a meeting on August 30, 2006 where he said the premier’s office thought there was nothing to the lottery scandal and it should be treated as a communications problem.
That meeting was held well before the scandal became public.
“Dalton McGuinty thinks this is a communications issue when people’s money is being stolen,” Tory said. “Instead of fixing the problem, he sent in his political spin doctors to try and downplay the story.”
Tory also failed to get answers as to any steps the McGuinty government is taking to recover the $12.5 million which, according to the ombudsman, found its way into improper hands.
Tory added: “Quite simply, the more fingerprints we dust for on the Lottogate scene, the more often we find people from Dalton McGuinty’s inner circle and the minister’s inner circle. We don’t need to call in CSI to figure out what’s going on – the facts are speaking for themselves. There is a cover-up here.”