Quotes at the centre of an Ontario Liberal byelection scandal

first_imgSUDBURY, Ont. – A trial is set to begin Thursday for two Ontario Liberals on Election Act bribery charges. The pair, including a former top staffer of Premier Kathleen Wynne, is accused of offering a would-be candidate a job or appointment to step aside for Wynne’s preferred candidate in a February 2015 byelection. Both deny the charges.That would-be candidate, Andrew Olivier, is quadriplegic and records conversations in lieu of taking notes. He posted the audio from his conversations with Premier Kathleen Wynne’s then-deputy chief of staff Pat Sorbara and Gerry Lougheed, a Liberal operative in Sudbury, online. Wynne spoke to him in between those conversations, but he was unable to record that chat.Wynne has said that she had already decided Olivier would not be the byelection candidate and as a result there was no need to offer him anything in exchange for not running.The following are key quotes from Sorbara and Lougheed’s recorded conversations with Olivier:Quotes from a Dec. 12 conversation between Olivier and Sorbara:“So Andrew let me ask you this, I mean, of course you recognize the position that we’re going to find ourselves in here, right, where she’s going to have to make a decision around the appointment, right, versus, allowing this to go ahead.” — Sorbara“I think she’s going to, to move ahead with the appointment, then what, you say, ‘I’m unhappy and I’m not going to help, I’m no longer a Liberal?’ What’s the next step then? It’s not going to – you think because you’re stepping back she’s going to say OK, we’re going to have a race?” — Sorbara“We should have the broader discussion about what is it that you’d be most interested in doing and then decide what shape that could take that would fulfil that, is what I’m getting at, whether it’s a full-time or part-time job at a constituency office, whether it is appointments to boards or commissions, whether it is also going on the exec.” — Sorbara———Quotes from a Dec. 11 conversation between Olivier and Lougheed:“So I come to you on behalf of the premier and on behalf of, I guess, Thibeault more indirectly, to ask you if you would consider stepping down – more than that Andrew, nominating him. In the course of that deliberation the premier wants to talk to you. They would like to present to you options in terms of appointments, jobs, whatever, that you and her and Pat Sorbara can talk about.” — Lougheed“The premier up to now has always said to me she’s in favour of a nomination process, so I want to make that really clear. She’s never said to me, ‘I’m going to appoint him,’ and to be fair to Glenn, Glenn has never said, ‘I want to be appointed.’” — Lougheed“I hate to sound kind of Machiavellian about it, but at the end of the day, if you take the high road on this, what is your, what is your reward?” — Lougheed.“This is the issue. The premier may stay with a nomination, she may go with an appointment. You don’t know. I think you and her need to talk about it.” — Lougheedlast_img read more

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