Ontario Liberals use secret code name for cancelled gas plant

Project Vapour didn’t disappear into thin air the way the Liberals may have wished. Instead, the code name for two cancelled gas plants that cost taxpayers an estimated $230 million — or at least three times that amount according to the opposition — means the issue is continuing to reverberate through Queen’s Park.

Thousands of pages of documents released just before Premier Dalton McGuinty announced he would step down Monday showed that politicians and staffers referred to their decision to cancel two controversial gas plants in tightly contested ridings as “Project Vapour,” Progressive Conservative members told reporters at a press conference Wednesday.

The Project Vapour code name, and other documents that show top Liberals staffers were in talks with gas company TransCanada Corp. before the cancellation, have given the opposition plenty of fodder for their arguments that the Liberals are trying to hide the details of the deal from the public.

However, a spokesperson for Ontario Energy Minister Chris Bentley said that assigning a code name to commercial negotiations was not uncommon, reports The Globe and Mail.

However, using the secret code name Project Vapour doesn’t look good for the Liberals, even if they are telling the truth, writes National Post columnist Scott Stinson: “At this point the Ontario Liberals should probably be grateful that the file related to the decision to cancel a gas-fired power plant in Oakville wasn’t code-named Project Deceit or Project Crass Opportunism.”

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