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Hudak refuses to be silenced by premier’s $2-million legal action

 By Kevin Werner, News Staff

Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak remains undaunted by a $2-million legal action initiated by Premier Kathleen Wynne over comments Hudak and his party have made to tie the premier to the $1.1 billion gas plant scandal.

“I have a job to do,” said Hudak, in an interview. “This is clearly a legal tactic to try to silence the opposition. Dalton McGuinty’s version was to prorogue the house. This is Kathleen Wynne’s version.”

Wynne is asking for $2-million in damages in her statement of claim filed April 14. The legal action stems from an OPP investigation that found the chief of staff of former Premier Dalton McGuinty had allowed an outside person access to computers in the premier’s office resulting in the destruction of documents. The OPP investigation has found no evidence that Wynne, who became premier in February 2013. Wynne had repeatedly asked Hudak and the Tories to mute their accusations, and retract their statements made on the PC website or she would take legal action.

Hudak at a March 27 news conference said the Wynne “oversaw and possibly ordered the criminal destruction of documents. Tory MPP Lisa MacLeod has compared Wynne to Richard Nixon on Twitter, and the party’s fundraising arm has linked Wynne to destroying the gas plant documents.

In her statement of claim, Wynne contends the Tories have “acted maliciously and caused damage to the plaintiff.”

But Hudak remained defiant in the face of the legal action.

“We are not going to cease, we are not going to desist,” said Hudak. “We are going to get answers for taxpayers on where the $1.1 billion went and who ordered it.”

Hudak said he was disappointed at the premier for taking legal action, something in his 18 years as a politician he has never seen before. He urged Wynne to concentrate on creating jobs for Ontarians rather than consulting with lawyers.

“People pay my salary for two things, to hold the government’s feet to the fire and when I see Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals lawyering up that tells me they’ve got something to hide. People also pay me to put alternative plans on the table which I’m doing.”

Wynne has said the Liberal Party is paying her legal fees, and any money she receives will be donated to charity.

Hudak said any legal bills acquired during this court action will be paid for by the Progressive Conservative Party.

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