The Progressive Conservatives were in Ottawa Thursday repeating their call for a judicial inquiry into the gas plant cancellations in a bid to whip up interest in the scandal across the province.
PC Leader Tim Hudak has called for an inquiry into the billion-dollar project for gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga that were never built. But the party has had some difficulty pushing the issue outside of the Greater Toronto Area.
So in Ottawa, Mr. Hudak raised the spectre of the Gomery Commission, comparing the gas plants to the sponsorship scandal that brought the leaders of the federal Liberal party before a judicial inquiry.
“Not too far from here, Justice Gomery did his work,” Mr Hudak said. “… If we want to restore the faith of investors in Ontario in taxpayers in their government, we need a judicial inquiry just like the Gomery Commission when it comes to the gas plants scandal.”
To demonstrate the point, Mr. Hudak brought along a rock named Billy.
This is Tim Hudak's rock, affectionately named Billy (short for Billionaire.) A piece of the gas plant, they say. pic.twitter.com/GCruknzjhp
— Susan Krashinsky (@susinsky) May 22, 2014
Short for Billionaire, the rock – a piece of the Mississauga plant, they say – is a prop the campaign uses to remind people of the impact of the scandal.
Mr. Hudak also used local concerns to drum up attention to the gas plants.
“A billion dollars out of your pocket, you didn’t get improvements at CHEO [Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario]. You didn’t get improvements to [Highway] 417 or uploading 174,” he said, referring to a plan to hand control of the regional highway from the city back to the province to handle maintenance costs and upgrades.