Transport Ministry was target of raids
There were still a lot more questions than answers Mondayafter Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne confirmed her ministry wasone target of a police raid on a provincial government office complexin Toronto.
TORONTO — There were still a lot more questions than answers Monday
after Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne confirmed her ministry was
one target of a police raid on a provincial government office complex
The anti-rackets branch of the Ontario Provincial Police seized a
number of documents July 15 in a raid at the Macdonald Block, a huge
complex across the street from the legislature that houses 13
provincial ministries and agencies.
``I was told ... I know what’s in the newspapers,’’ Wynne told
reporters. ``The investigation is ongoing and I am really not aware of
anything more than what is in the public realm.’’
Wynne became the first Liberal cabinet minister to confirm her ministry
was one of three targets of the police investigation, although a senior
government source said more than a week ago that no elected or
political staff were suspected of any wrongdoing.
``I have not been briefed by the police at this point and it’s an ongoing investigation,’’ she said.
``As information is available it will be made available publicly, but I don’t have any more information than that.’’
Wynne could not say if her office called police to investigate or if
the police obtained search warrants based on outside information.
``I’m not aware of any of the circumstances around that,’’ she said.
Finance Minister Dwight Duncan and Environment Minister John Gerretsen
have both said the investigation does not involve their staff, while
Attorney General Chris Bentley has declined comment.
However, no government minister has actually said which other ministries or agencies were the target of the corruption probe.
The opposition parties and public sector unions have called on the
Liberals to ``come clean’’ and tell people exactly who is under
investigation to remove the cloud of suspicion left hanging over
thousands of civil servants who work in the Macdonald Block.
No charges have been laid in connection with the raids.
Provincial police said Monday it could be weeks before the public
learns more about the investigation into ``irregular financial
transactions’’ between the provincial government and outside vendors.
``At some point in the future we hope to be able to provide a little
more detail, but it takes some time to sort through the documents that
have been obtained and reviewing the evidence,’’ said Insp. Dave Ross.
``These investigations do take some time to complete but unfortunately I don’t have a timeline for you on how long.’’
The Ontario Realty Corp. was also thought to be a target of the investigation into irregular financial transactions.
However, neither the police nor the Liberal government would say Monday
what agencies or ministries besides Transportation were being
Ontario Realty Corp., which manages more than 6,400 buildings on behalf
of the province, was the subject of previous allegations of bid rigging
and fraud in a case dating back to 2000.
The province spent $23 million in legal and consulting fees when it
sued four corporation employees and a group of outside contractors for
more than $35 million.
After seven years, two employees and one contractor pleaded guilty to
accepting kickbacks and forging bids, but received conditional
sentences with no jail time.