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PCs accuse Wynne of secret $317-million deal

By: The Canadian Press

 | May 29, 2014 - 10:13 AM |
TORONTO - Ontario's Progressive Conservatives have released government documents showing the Liberals secretly approved a $317-million bailout of a downtown Toronto real estate development.

The Liberals gave $71 million to build a second tower at the MaRS research centre, and provided a $234-million loan for the project, but the documents show the registered charity and the real estate developer behind it can't repay the money.

Former Tory MPP Frank Klees says a whistleblower turned over the cabinet documents, and accuses Premier Kathleen Wynne of approving the bailout behind closed doors to avoid embarrassment during the election campaign.

Klees says the Liberals also failed to put the liability on the books in the May 1 budget, which couldn't get any opposition support, triggering the June 12 election.

He says it's another example of a complete failure by the Liberals to provide any oversight to make sure the hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayers' money was spent properly.

Klees says the Liberals learned nothing from their lack of oversight that led to mismanagement and scandals at eHealth Ontario and the Ornge air ambulance service, which is now the subject of a police investigation.

The Tories say the government should take the hit on the books but let MaRS suffer the consequences of bankruptcy from a bad real estate deal.

"It's clear that Kathleen Wynne approved this deal, behind closed doors, to avoid another embarrassment for her scandal-plagued government," said Klees.

"These documents read like a repeat of the Ornge documents that were sent to me by whistleblowers who could no longer stand the corruption that was going on there."

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