Sep 09, 2013

By Scott Walker

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The fall sitting of the legislature begins at Queen’s Park today. And the first item of business for the government will be a bill to establish an accountability officer.

It was a demand by the NDP as a condition for supporting the Spring budget. Finance Minister Charles Sousa says it will provide an expert view of the costs of any bills being proposed.

The government is hoping the bill will become law by the end of the month. But the Conservatives are planning on introducing another contempt motion on the gas plant scandal over apparent attempts by some Liberals to pressure the Speaker of the Legislature. Leader Tim Hudak says what the Liberals did was criminal, and only a full judicial inquiry will bring all the details out into the open. Hudak says it will take the “sound of jail doors slamming behind them” to get the truth out of some Liberals over their attempts to influence Speaker Dave Levac.

Hudak also acknowledged that he fired MPP Peter Shurman as his Finance Critic because Shurman had claimed expenses for a residence in Toronto when he moved from his riding of Thornhill to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Hudak said what Shurman did was within the rules, but the rules need to be changed. When Shurman said he wouldn’t repay the claims, Hudak said he couldn’t continue as Finance Critic.

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