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RCO





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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Former top Ontario Liberal aide found guilty of destroying documents in gas plants case

By Colin Perkel — Canadian Press. Published on Jan 19, 2018 4:24pm


The remains of the 800-megawatt gas-fired power plant, which had its construction canceled by the then Liberal Government of Ontario prior to the provincial general election of 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young



TORONTO — A former top political aide in Ontario has been found guilty of illegally destroying documents related to a controversial government decision to cancel two gas plants before a provincial election.

David Livingston, chief of staff for former Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty, was charged with attempted mischief and illegal use of a computer. The destroyed documents were related to the Ontario Liberal government’s costly decision to cancel two gas plants in 2011. Livingston’s deputy, Laura Miller, was found not guilty.

Judge Timothy Lipson, who presided over the case, said Livingston was a sophisticated individual who knew exactly what he was doing.

Lipson also said the political context around Livingston’s actions was highly relevant. That context was the growing pressure in 2012 and early 2013 for the Liberal government to account for the cancellation of the two plants.

“No issues were more challenging or more dangerous to the minority Liberal government than those related to the gas plants controversy,” Lipson said. “This was the grim political backdrop.”

Livingston was openly dismissive of stern warnings and advice about his obligations to retain and produce gas-plant records a legislative committee had been demanding as it sought a contempt finding against the then-minister of energy, Lipson said.

It defies common sense and reality, Lipson said, to suggest that wholesale wiping of 20 hard drives in the outgoing premier’s office was in accordance with policy.

While he was advised about retaining records, Lipson said, Livingston was “more interested in deleting them.”

The fact that Livingston failed to warn the cabinet secretary that the wiping of 20 hard drives would be “indiscriminate” was even more serious than hiring Miller’s spouse, Peter Faist — who had no security clearance — to do the job.

“(Livingston) could not have honestly believed that he had the secretary’s authorization to do what he did,” Lipson said.

Lipson said he could not conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Miller knew Livingston had “fraudulently” obtained permission to access the drives, what records they had been warned to keep, and why it was so inappropriate to hire her spouse to do the wiping.

As a result, the judge said, it was possible she was unaware of the illegalities perpetrated by her boss, even though she was intimately aware of the political context in which the wiping was happening.

Lipson’s decision comes just months before McGuinty’s successor, Premier Kathleen Wynne, faces voters in what is expected to be a closely fought general election and the opposition were quick to pounce.

“It’s a sad day when a premier’s most senior official is found guilty of trying to orchestrate a cover-up of the $1.1 billion gas plant scandal,” Conservative Leader Patrick Brown said in a statement. “The guilty verdict is an indictment of the 15 years of Liberal political corruption that has long been rooted in the premier’s office.”

The Crown had earlier dropped a charge of breach of trust against Livingston and Miller.


https://ipolitics.ca/2018/01/19/former-top-ontario-liberal-aid-found-guilty-destroying-documents-gas-plants-case/[/img][/i]
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think anyone viewing the situation regarding the Power Plant cancellations in Oakville & Mississauga as anything other than politically motivated is being naive.

Oakville, Mississauga South, and Etobicoke Lakeshore are usually swing ridings that sit on the Government side of the aisle, to argue that the cancellation of both plants didn't at least assist in the retention of these ridings during election campaigns is challenging.

The problem here is that the buck stops with David Livingston.

While I want to better understand why Parliament was Prorogued as the Minister of Energy was on the cusp of being held in contempt of Parliament for being accused of failing to release 20,000 documents pertaining cancellation of the Power Plants.

I would also like to better understand if the timing of the contempt motion and the resignation of the Premier or the timing of the Prorogue have anything to do with each other.

We likely won't even get those answers as evidence either damning or clearing may have been lost on those hard drives.

The issue here is that we are largely at the end of the road;
Livingston takes the hit and whatever likely minimal punishment will come with it and we don't get any further answers.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We don't have rule of law in Canada. There is no practical way the premier can be convicted, as this case illustrates.

I wondered, at the time that Wynne testified at the trial, how come she wasn't on the list of perps. Everyone in the room had to know it, but it had to be 'proved' at a much higher standard because of her exalted position.

Why does his accomplice and her husband get to walk? Another example of our courts' inability to treat men and women equally.

Livingstone is being convicted on the smallest charge he could be charged with. He was destroying evidence, for one thing, and he was stealing public property!

There is every reason to think that this is all 'fixed' and Livingstone will be rewarded for taking a hit for the team.
RCO





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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ex-McGuinty aide faces sentencing hearing today over gas plants scandal

David Livingston
David Livingston leaves court with supporters in Toronto, Friday, Jan.19, 2018. Livingston, a former top political aide in Ontario, has been found guilty of illegally destroying documents related to a controversial government decision to cancel two gas plants before a provincial election. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
.


The Canadian Press
Published Monday, February 26, 2018 5:04AM EST
Last Updated Monday, February 26, 2018 5:13AM EST


TORONTO -- A Toronto judge is expected to hear arguments today about an appropriate sentence for a former top political aide caught up in the province's so-called gas plants scandal.

The prosecution has already said it wants David Livingston, who was former premier Dalton McGuinty's chief of staff, sent to jail.

The defence says jail would be outrageous for a first-time offender.

Ontario court Judge Timothy Lipson found Livingston guilty last month of illegal use of a computer and attempting to commit mischief to data.

Livingston had wiped computers of information the law required should have been kept.

That information related to the Liberal government's costly cancellation of two gas plants before the 2011 election.


https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ex-mcguinty-aide-faces-sentencing-hearing-today-over-gas-plants-scandal-1.3818837
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Six weeks later the verdict is announced.

Quote:
Former top Ontario Liberal aide sentenced to 4 months in jail for role in gas plants scandal
David Livingston was former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty's chief of staff from 2012 to 2013,
CBC News · Posted: Apr 10, 2018 6:35 PM ET | Last Updated: 9 minutes ago


David Livingston was former premier Dalton's McGuinty's chief of staff from 2012 to 2013. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)
A top aide to former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty was sentenced on Wednesday to four months in jail for his role in wiping government computers after the Liberals cancelled two gas-fired power plants in 2011.

David Livingston, McGuinty's chief of staff from 2012 to 2013, was also sentenced to 12 months probation and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.

Livingston was found guilty of one count of unauthorized use of a computer and one count of attempting to commit mischief to data in January. The latter charge, however, was stayed in February.

Crown urges 6 months jail for ex-aide David Livingston; defence wants discharge
McGuinty aide David Livingston found guilty in gas plants trial
Livingston's deputy at the time, Laura Miller, was found not guilty of the same charges.

The Crown argued for a six-month jail term for Livingston, while his defence had called for a conditional discharge. That would have meant Livingston would have no criminal record if he fulfilled the imposed conditions.

Livingston was part of a plot to delete potentially embarrassing records related to the government's decision to cancel the gas plants ahead of the 2011 Ontario election.

Justice Timothy Lipson said at the sentencing that he agrees with the Crown's contention that Livingston attempted to interfere in the democratic process and that "incarceration is necessary" given the nature his offence. [....]
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/.....-1.4613731


This is how the system will look at it: He has been sentenced to 4 months or 120 days. He will be eligible and will get parole in 40 days. '(First offender, non-violent offence, plus he took a dive for the premier) So the system will have to prepare him for release at least a month or two ahead of his release date. So he will be in a half-way house probably within three weeks. There's probably one near his home.
RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

not good news for the Ontario liberals weeks before an election , can we chant "lock her up " at the ford rallies now ?


does anyone really believe wynne and mcguinty were not aware of this plan when it went down at the time ?
Bugs





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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Christie Blatchford: Convicted ex-McGuinty aide led away in handcuffs — then suddenly he was free

Being granted bail is not unusual, but in a case where sending a message was the single greatest reason for the judge opting for a jail term, this one grated
Christie Blatchford
April 11, 2018
7:29 PM EDT

Jail, jail, jail: There had to be jail time, the judge said.

He said it — “jail” or, his preferred term, “imprisonment,” as in “term of” — nine times in his 11-page decision.

Anything less would fail to sufficiently condemn what he called “egregious” conduct which struck “at the heart of the democratic process.”

Anything less would “fall short of adequately denouncing” what David Livingston had done in “orchestrating the wiping of the hard drives” in the office of former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty, and would fail to discourage others in government from doing the same.

In fact it was his duty to send Livingston to jail, Ontario Provincial Court Judge Tim Lipson said, as it is the responsibility of the judiciary to protect democratic institutions such as legislative committees.

Thus on Wednesday was the 65-year-old Livingston put in handcuffs and led away, like any other mook at Toronto’s Old City Hall courts — the final note in a shattering fall from grace for a man with a distinguished career who had served for nine months in 2012-13 as the former premier’s chief of staff.

But of the four-month sentence Lipson gave him Livingston actually spent only about five hours in jail, all of that at the courthouse cells.

No sooner had the judge finished talking than one of Livingston’s lawyers was filing an appeal of both conviction and sentence.

Crown prosecutors, who had asked for a six-to-12-month sentence, nonetheless immediately agreed to bail pending the appeal, showing the same sapling-like backbone they displayed throughout the trial.

The application was formally heard by a single judge of the Ontario Court of Appeal; Livingston was released in the late afternoon. The appeal itself will be argued at an unspecified time in the future.

In other words: jail, schmail.

Now, none of this is unheard of or unusual in Canadian courts.

Defendants with the wherewithal to have good lawyers often immediately launch appeals, and sometimes win fast releases for their clients.

Toronto Police Const. James Forcillo, for example, who was sentenced to six years in prison in 2016 in the shooting death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim, spent a single night behind bars before he was sprung on bail.

(Forcillo went on to breach those bail conditions and was promptly returned to the slammer, where he remains.)

Mr. Livingston's plan was to deny the public its right to know about government decision-making with regard to the gas plants controversy


But in a case where denunciation was the single greatest reason for the judge opting for a jail term — to send the message to governments and political actors that they are not the arbiters of what documents can be destroyed — this one grated.

Livingston was convicted in January of the benign-sounding offences of attempt to commit mischief to data and unauthorized use of a computer in the notorious gas plants controversy.

(The former, more minor offence was subsumed at sentencing by the unauthorized use of a computer charge.)

But underlying the charges was what he actually did, which was, the judge found, to deceive the province’s highest-ranking civil servant, former Cabinet secretary Peter Wallace, trick him into granting him sweeping “administrative access” to all computers in the former’s premier’s office and then hire the outsider boyfriend of one of his deputies to wipe clean 20 of those computers “to ensure that no records remained” on them that were responsive to Freedom of Information requests or any future production order of a legislative committee.

Livingston was McGuinty’s right-hand man at a time when the controversy surrounding the two cancelled gas-fired plants, in Oakville and Mississauga, was at its height, with opposition parties, legislative committees, activists and media all howling for more information about how and why the McGuinty government had cancelled the plants and how much this crass political calculus would cost Ontario taxpayers. (McGuinty himself was never a target of the investigation into the matter.)

In the end, the Ontario auditor estimated the costs of the gas plants fiasco would top $1 billion.

And Livingston was not a naïf but rather, as Lipson found, a “politically sophisticated government actor who committed this offence because of political expediency, rather than fulfilling his responsibility to conduct himself with the law.”

The judge appeared to find Livingston’s attitude towards record-keeping and the need to preserve documents for the public good to be both telling and noxious.

Despite being explicitly reminded on multiple occasions, by Wallace and others, of his legal obligations to preserve such records and of a legislative committee’s powers to order that such documents be produced, “Mr. Livingston, however, developed his own ideas early on,” the judge said.

“He called the legal obligation to disclose ‘political bullshit.’ He thought the power of the committee to compel production ‘ridiculous.’”

The judge went to considerable lengths to take into account Livingston’s previous sterling character and superb contributions, but said that ultimately, a sentence must be proportionate to the seriousness of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the offender.

“This offence is very serious because it involves an attempt by the defendant to thwart the core values of accountability and transparency that are essential to the proper functioning of parliamentary democracy,” the judge said.

“Mr. Livingston’s plan was to deny the public its right to know about government decision-making with regard to the gas plants controversy.”

His conduct, said the judge, was particularly serious because he “abused a position of power and engaged in criminal conduct to promote the interests of the governing party at the expense of democratic accountability.”
http://nationalpost.com/opinio.....e-was-free


There are leading politicians that should be in 'jail for their actions. Livingstone is almost being apologized to by the judge, it seems to me. It's like he feels he has to justify the sentence by the sentencing criteria. Why? Because everyone seems to realize that Livingstone was acting under orders, and those who gave the orders were the Untouchables.
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At a minimum it brings to the forefront something much of the electorate has forgot about.

The disclose of the additional emails regarding the power plant cancellations and the potential Contempt of Parliament motion coincided with the Prorogue of Parliament and the resignation of the Premier and the Energy Minister and Finance Ministers resigning their seats before the new legislative session began.

Many of those emails likely exist somewhere in the receivers archives or in some form and my hope is whatever government is formed in summer decides to take a good hard look at finally answering some of these questions.
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