Jan 25 2019 — Robert Benzie — Toronto Star — The Ontario government says $200 million in efficiencies found during the refurbishment of the Bruce power station, the world’s second largest nuclear facility, will be passed back to ratepayers. Privately owned Bruce is spending $13 billion to overhaul six of the eight reactors at the massive Lake Huron plant.
Jan 23 2019 — Robert Benzie — Toronto Star — This time last year he was Ontario’s next premier. Today, Patrick Brown is the mayor of Brampton. It was Jan. 24, 2018, when CTV News broadcast an investigative story alleging Brown, then the Progressive Conservative leader and front-runner to succeed Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne, was sexually inappropriate with two women.
Jan 15 2019 — Robert Benzie — Toronto Star — Premier Doug Ford’s governing Progressive Conservatives are revving up their money machine. After loosening campaign finance laws introduced by former premier Kathleen Wynne following a 2016 Star exposé of Liberal fundraising, the Tories are banking on a cash windfall.
Jan 11 2019 — Robert Benzie — Toronto Star — Premier Doug Ford is losing his most experienced political aide. As first disclosed by the Star, Jenni Byrne, the premier’s principal secretary and a key architect of the Progressive Conservatives’ majority election victory last June, is leaving his office for a new post at the Ontario Energy Board.
Dec 10 2018 — Robert Benzie — Toronto Star — Ontario’s fiscal watchdog says this year’s budget deficit is $12.3 billion — $1.2 billion lower than Finance Minister Vic Fedeli has projected. But financial accountability officer Peter Weltman also warned huge shortfalls will continue into the future unless the Progressive Conservative government makes dramatic spending cuts or increases taxes.
Dec 6 2018 — Robert Benzie — Our Windsor — Premier Doug Ford insists he’s not to blame for U.S. regulators zapping Hydro One’s $6.7 billion takeover of Avista Corp., which will cost Ontario taxpayers tens of millions in cancellation fees and reduced share value. In his first public statement since Washington state rejected the Ontario utility’s proposed takeover of Avista citing political meddling by […]
Dec 5 2018 — Robert Benzie — Toronto Star — The Ontario government’s chief accountant resigned earlier this fall because she refused to sign off on Finance Minister Vic Fedeli’s inflated $15 billion deficit, the Star has learned. Cindy Veinot, the provincial controller, quit in September because she “did not agree with accounting decisions made by the current government.”
Dec 3 2018 — Robert Benzie — Toronto Star — The jittery Progressive Conservative government is rushing a change to official party status in the legislature amid fears former Tory MPP Amanda Simard will join the Liberals. Even though legislation is expected to pass later this week increasing the threshold to 12 MPPs from eight, the Conservatives have added a motion to the order paper […]
Nov 30 2018 — Robert Benzie — Toronto Star — A veteran Progressive Conservative operative fired from Ontario Power Generation after an unusual personal intervention from Premier Doug Ford’s chief of staff has officially left the utility. Alykhan Velshi, who was chief of staff to both former PC leader Patrick Brown and interim leader Vic Fedeli, departed OPG on Friday.
Nov 17 2018 — Robert Benzie — Toronto Star — In the eyes of federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon-pricing plan makes him the “enemy” of commuters and families. To Doug Ford, Trudeau’s greenhouse-gas reduction initiative places him “next” on the premier’s political hit list.
Nov 14 2018 — Robert Benzie — Toronto Star — Deposed former Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown’s explosive new tell-all book takes aim at the “enemies” he blames for ousting him. His memoir, Takedown: The Attempted Political Assassination of Patrick Brown, will be published Friday, but the Star has obtained an advance copy.