It would be hard to imagine a report more damaging to the credibility of Ontario's Liberal government than the one released Tuesday by Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk on its decision to cancel the Oakville gas plant.
First under former premier Dalton McGuinty, and later, under Premier Kathleen Wynne, the Liberals estimated the cost of cancelling this plant was $40 million.
Lysyk found it will cost up to $1.112 billion, with the most likely final figure being $815 million, after future savings and cost add-ons are factored in.
Even more devastating to Liberal credibility, Lysyk found that despite McGuinty's insistence he had no idea of the costs of cancelling the Oakville plant, his office was directly responsible for decisions that dramatically increased those costs.
"On cancelling the Oakville plant, the Premier's Office assured TCE (TransCanada Energy Ltd.) that it would be compensated for the full financial value of its contract for the Oakville plant," Lysyk found, "instead of relying on protections in that contract that could have minimized the damages paid to the builder following cancellation."
In other words, the Liberals were so desperate to cancel the politically unpopular Oakville plant leading up to the 2011 election, they wasted hundreds of millions of public dollars in order to do so.