While the OPP are inside Queen’s Park trying to find out where the emails went that covered inter-office negotiations on how much of our tax dollars were going to be doled out to the companies that were told their Oakville and Mississauga gas plant developments were cancelled in order to save Liberal seats in the 2010 election, reporters and concerned energy advocates are cracking open the “cone of silence” that Wynne/McGuinty have tried to maintain.
Tom Adams has been dogged in his efforts to acquire sensitive emails with Freedom of Information requests and has been literally stonewalled and is awaiting a decision from the Information and Privacy Commissioner for release.
The Globe and Mail’s reporters, Karen Howlett and Adrian Morrow have just dropped a bombshell which names one man who could be at the centre of these negotiations with EIG and Eastern who were the contractors on the two plants.
This man’s name is Robert Prichard who was at one time President and CEO of Torstar, President of The University of Toronto, among many other political connections and a seat on Board the of a tobacco company and is presently Chair of Metrolinx along with being a chair in Law firm Torys LLP.
To say this man is “hooked up politically” is an understatement. He has been at Bilderberg meetings in the past and knows the world-wide power brokers way too intimately.
The Liberal Government should heed a sage piece of advice right now: “Come clean now before this get’s any worse”
Tom Adams Energy June 17/2013
Congrats to Karen Howlett and Adrian Morrow of the Globe & Mail for breaking an important story on Prichard’s connection to the gas scandal. I have been pursuing Prichard’s connection through FOI since last November, but getting stonewalled at every turn.
Notice that Prichard was appointed to McGuinty’s Economic Advisory Panel in the midst of the gas plant negotiations but prior to what we now know about his involvement in the gas negotiations. Notice also that Prichard’s role was not addressed in the Auditor General’s report.
I believe that Rob Prichard was effectively the OPA’s negotiator but that the OPA didn’t hire him and he may not have reported to the OPA. Rather, he was parachuted in by Bentley or McGuinty and appears to have reported through the Deputy Minister Serge Imbrogno, who previously testified to the Justice Policy Committee of the Ontario Legislature but did not indicate any connection with Mr. Prichard.
My FOI appeal now in the hands of the Information and Privacy Commissioner is also likely to yield new information on the role of Mr. Prichard, if the documents connecting McGuinty and Prichard have not been destroyed. One of the reasons I have been denied access to documents that I believe relate to Mr. Prichard is with reference to solicitor-client privilege. I note that privilege only applies to legal advice. To the extent that Mr. Prichard was giving advice related to commercial negotiations, I take the position that no privilege exists.
E-mails reveal Prichard’s role in Ontario gas-plant talks
Robert Prichard, right, led negotiations tied to the cancellation of gas-fired power plants in Ontario. Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig is to his left.
(Philip Cheung For The Globe and Mail)
A trusted adviser to the Ontario government played a prominent role in crafting a $275-million settlement to scuttle an unpopular power plant in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga.
Robert Prichard, a politically connected Bay Street lawyer, led talks to compensate the company building the plant and also negotiated an accord with a group of hedge-fund lenders to the project, according to internal government e-mails obtained by The Globe and Mail and interviews with sources close to the situation.
The e-mails show that then-premier Dalton McGuinty’s office, along with his energy and finance ministers, signed off on the deal with the company.
A legislative committee is investigating the government’s decision to pull the plug on two gas-fired electricity plants. The high cost to taxpayers – $585-million – is at the centre of opposition accusations that the government abandoned plans to build the plants in Mississauga and Oakville to save Liberal seats during the 2011 provincial election.
The Globe has reported that the hedge funds pocketed more than twice as much as they lent for the project. And the provincial auditor has revealed that the entire tab for Mississauga, including relocating the plant, was $275-million – $85-million higher than the government initially said.
The e-mails reveal for the first time the role played by Mr. Prichard, chairman of law firm Torys LLP and provincial transit agency Metrolinx. Before the public learned about the steep price tag, Mr. Prichard struck an upbeat tone on the deal with Eastern Power Ltd., the company building the plant. In one e-mail, he lauded the company’s “excellent work and co-operation” and suggested that the lawyers involved get together to toast a job well done.
Jun. 05 2013
The Premier of Saskatchewan and the heads of TD Bank, Indigo Books and Loblaws are among half a dozen Canadians who will attend this year’s exclusive Bilderberg conference.
The invitation-only gathering has released a list of expected participants.
Six are identified as Canadians:
- TD Bank CEO Edmund Clark;
- Brookfield Asset Management chairman Frank McKenna, a former New Brunswick premier and ambassador to the U.S., who is also deputy chairman at TD Bank Group;
- Robert Prichard, the chairman of the Torys law firm;
- Indigo Books CEO Heather Reisman;
- Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall;
- Loblaws CEO Galen Weston.
Another person listed as an American, economist Marie-Josée Kravis, is from Montreal.