(WINDSOR, ON) – On Friday, an Ontario judge released his ruling on a lawsuit filed by the Canadian Union of Public Employees. It charged Premier Kathleen Wynne and her key government ministers were guilty of committing malfeasance in the sale of Hydro One shares.
Filed by CUPE, along with its leader Fred Hahn, Diane Dowling, and John Clark in December of last year, the suit alleged the government knew selling Hydro One would hurt the people of Ontario. Further, the suit claimed the deal was structured in such a way as to financially benefit the government, consultants, and bankers.
Early on the government tried to have the suit dismissed by claiming parliamentary privilege. Justice Cavanagh, who heard the arguments, decided to deny the objection. CUPE called that a victory which will ensure the Premier and Ministers can’t hide behind legislative privilege.
“We are pleased, and ultimately relieved, that the judge ruled the Premier and her Ministers cannot hide behind parliamentary privilege,” said Hahn. “This was the crux of the government’s motion to dismiss, claiming they were not subject to the same law as the rest of us. It is critical to our democracy that the judge dismissed this argument.”
On the matter of misfeasance, the judge ruled the pleading was unsupported.
Hahn says his union knows it can support its allegations that, “… the government’s decision was not in the best interest of the people of Ontario, we know they structured the deal in a way that benefitted bankers and consultants operating as middle men on the deal.”
He added that all of the union’s allegations were based on matters of public record and went on to say elected members of the government are not allowed to, “… use their power to knowingly make a decision that will hurt the people of Ontario and benefit themselves. This is precisely the type of improper conduct by government officials that the law of misfeasance in public office is supposed to prevent.”
CUPE says it is now looking into appealing the decision.